Shotgun Wedding Soup

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup acini di pepe (sometimes labeled as pastina, it is a tiny pasta)
46 oz chicken stock
10 oz frozen or fresh chopped spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil

prepared mini meatballs

In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Stir in spinach. Cook about 5 additional minutes. To serve: arrange the desired about of meatballs in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the soup on top, serve immediately.

Yield: 6-8 servings

My thoughts:

This soup is similar to Italian Wedding Soup in that it has meatballs and a chicken stock based broth, but it has some differences. It is made with spinach instead of endive or escarole, it has pasta (which some versions don’t), and there are no eggs in the broth and it is a little quicker to make. But no matter, it is wonderful soup in it’s own right and besides, Italian Wedding Soup doesn’t have anything to do with weddings at all-it is really a mistranslation of “minestra maritata” which just means two things that go well together-a marriage of flavors if you will. This soup has the perfect marriage of flavors and is light tasting yet substantial enough to serve as a meal.


  1. I was just going to say that this photo reminded me a lot of “Italian Wedding soup”…which I’ve only tried once before and wasn’t really keen on it…maybe this is better?

  2. This looks very delicious. I am a huge fan of albondigas, a Mexican version of meatball soup and this looks like a healthy version of that.


  3. If I hadn’t just finished off my spinach supply I’d be giving this a go today. Alas, It will have to go into the ever increasing “must try” pile, which is beginning to resemble an editor’s slushpile.

  4. this looks delicious!

  5. Yay!! I’m always on the lookout for good soup recipes. Both my husband and I are big soup lovers and this looks fantastic.

  6. Susan from Food Blogga

    Is there a prize for best named recipe? Because you win it with this one. Hands-down! 🙂

  7. Ahahaha best name ever. Can’t wait to try this.

  8. This looks great! And – the name – it makes it a must try!

  9. Is that the real name, or did you make it up? Sounds delish.

  10. Judy-I just made it up!

  11. I love Italian Wedding soup! It was a holiday standard for me growing up! My Nana used to make these delicious crunchy fried “nuts” to put on top…wow, this post really brought me back. Your version looks really great too!

  12. This was delicious, and the little meatball technique was absolute genius — one of those “now why have I never thought of that” things. Plus, any recipe where I can use little starrete is a good one. Something about them reminds me of being a kid… probably that Campbell’s chicken soup. This was much, much better.

  13. I just made this a couple days ago. delicious! I've been eating it for dinner the last couple of nights.