In Pittsburgh, wedding soup is served in nearly every Italian restaurant and is a popular menu item at…well…weddings.
The Italian name for this soup is minestra maritata and it refers to the marriage of meat and broth.
Most wedding soups don’t appeal to me – watery broth with sparse meatballs, soggy spinach, and a few puny pieces of pastina.
Not a great metaphor for a strong marriage.
A marriage that endures needs to be hardy and robust, fortified with bigger meatballs and huge chunks of chicken.
A marriage that endures needs stracciatella (grated Parmesan and egg whisked together and stirred into the boiling soup). The English translation of this word means to “tear-up,” which, depending on what you want to ” tear-up,” could be good or bad. But the prefix “stra” in Latin means “extra,” and every marriage needs a little extra somethin’-somethin’ to keep it going.
A marriage that endures needs a bit of color, some bright spots, and a little liveliness. That’s what sliced carrots do for this soup. They add color, sweetness, and some tenderness, too (also paramount for a good marriage).
Of course, every healthy marriage starts with a solid foundation. You must come from good stock and so must your partner.
Wedding soup is no different.
This recipe for wedding soup is one that will endure and one to be envied, much like the recipe for a good marriage.
Hearty Wedding Soup
- 3 quarts good-quality chicken stock 12 cups
- 1 cup sliced carrots cut on the bias about ¾ thick
- 46 1-ounce meatballs
- 3 cups roasted chicken shredded
- 16 ounces chopped spinach
- ½ cup pastina
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup grated romano or paremesan cheese plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large stockpot, heat chicken stock over medium-high heat. Once stock comes to a boil, add meatballs. Cook meatballs until they float to the top. °
- Add carrots and let boil for about 7-8 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk eggs and grated cheese together. Whisk egg and cheese mixture into boiling broth. Add shredded chicken.
- Add pastina to boiling broth following the instructions on the back of the package.
- Lower the soup to a simmer. Add the chopped spinach and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining grated cheese.