Italian Wedding Soup with Pork Meatballs

Italian Wedding Soup

with Pork Meatballs

50 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This hearty soup is all about the union of aromatic vegetables with rich meat. The dish that likely inspired modern-day Italian wedding soup was called “minestra maritata,” or “married soup”—brought to the U.S. and adapted by immigrants from Naples in the early 20th Century. Our version features earthy collard greens and juicy pork meatballs seasoned with a blend of fennel seeds and dried oregano. We’re simmering it all with a robust, ancient variety of wheat berries that have a deliciously distinctive, nutty flavor.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    800 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook the khorasan wheat:
1 Cook the khorasan wheat:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the khorasan wheat and cook, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Reserving 2¼ cups of the khorasan wheat cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the khorasan wheat cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and medium dice the carrot. Peel and small dice the onion. Medium dice the celery. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove and discard the collard green stems; roughly chop the leaves.

Form the meatballs:
3 Form the meatballs:

While the khorasan wheat continues to cook, in a medium bowl, combine the ground pork (removing and discarding the paper lining from the bottom), spice blend, half the cheese and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into 12 to 14 equal-sized meatballs; transfer to a plate.

Brown the meatballs:
4 Brown the meatballs:

In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside in a warm place.

Start the soup:
5 Start the soup:

Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant.

Finish the soup & plate your dish:
6 Finish the soup & plate your dish:

Add the collard greens, diced tomatoes, browned meatballs, cooked khorasan wheat and reserved khorasan wheat cooking water to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced in volume by about ¼ and the meatballs are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the remaining cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Cook the khorasan wheat:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the khorasan wheat and cook, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Reserving 2¼ cups of the khorasan wheat cooking water, drain thoroughly.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the khorasan wheat cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and medium dice the carrot. Peel and small dice the onion. Medium dice the celery. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove and discard the collard green stems; roughly chop the leaves.

Form the meatballs:
3 Form the meatballs:

While the khorasan wheat continues to cook, in a medium bowl, combine the ground pork (removing and discarding the paper lining from the bottom), spice blend, half the cheese and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into 12 to 14 equal-sized meatballs; transfer to a plate.

4 Brown the meatballs:

In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside in a warm place.

Brown the meatballs:
Start the soup:
5 Start the soup:

Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant.

6 Finish the soup & plate your dish:

Add the collard greens, diced tomatoes, browned meatballs, cooked khorasan wheat and reserved khorasan wheat cooking water to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced in volume by about ¼ and the meatballs are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the remaining cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Finish the soup & plate your dish:
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