Italian Wedding Soup (Minestra Maritata)

This Italian-American dish is wonderfully warming and perfect for the cold season, and it’s ideal for those who really happen to love soup! As to its name, Italian Wedding Soup is not named after the festive occasion. In fact, the literal translation of “minestra maritata” is “married soup,” which refers to the rich and earthy flavors obtained by the combination of ingredients.

In true Italian form, this modified version uses fresh, seasonal ingredients in order to achieve a peak-of-flavor profile. For this recipe, collard greens are substituted for the more traditional escarole, but any hardy green like Swiss chard or kale would work nicely. The al dente texture of orzo provides just the right amount of bite, but it can be substituted for Arborio rice for a gluten-free option. Typically, the meatballs should be bite-sized, but I find making them a bit larger (golf-ball size) packs in a bit more flavor.

Not surprisingly, making this soup ahead of time and letting it sit overnight allows the flavors to–you guessed it–marry!

Click here to check out the recipe.