Ina Garten's Italian Wedding Soup Is One of Her Favorite Cold-Weather Recipes
Sometimes, when the January chill is really setting in, there's only one way to stay warm and cozy: a big bowl of soup. Everyone has a different go-to bowl—whether it's a slow-cooker veggie chili or a 15-minute cup of noodles, there aren't many soups we'd turn down.
If you're in the market for some soup inspiration to warm your days, you'll be happy to know that the comfort-food maven herself, Ina Garten, is sharing some of her favorite soup recipes on her Instagram this week. Ina suggests you whip these recipes up for a quick lunch—make a big batch on your off day, then portion them out to have on hand for an easy meal anytime.
She's already shared her creamy-cozy recipe for Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons—we actually have our own take on that recipe—and her website reveals that the other soups making her favorites list include Winter Minestrone & Garlic Bruschetta, Chicken Ramen-Noodle Soup and Butternut Squash and Apple Soup. But the soup recipe on Garten's list that caught our eye is a classic: Italian Wedding Soup. Ina's take on the simple, savory soup includes homemade meatballs, lots of veggies and your choice of pasta.
"I'm sharing my five favorite soups this week, starting with my Italian Wedding Soup," Garten wrote on Instagram. "It's so delicious and satisfying on a cold, rainy day."
To copy Ina's recipe, you'll need lots of meatball supplies, like ground chicken, chicken sausage, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, milk, an egg and some salt and pepper. Once the casings are removed from the chicken sausage, just dump all those ingredients in a bowl, combine them gently and haul out your sheet pan to bake them for about 30 minutes at 350°F. If you prefer smaller meatballs, just adjust the cook time accordingly—it's as easy as that.
With your meatballs ready to go, gather some olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, chicken stock, dry white wine, small pasta, dill and spinach for the soup. Sauté your mirepoix veggies in hot olive oil, then add the stock and wine and bring everything to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender, then add your dill and meatballs to the soup and let it simmer for a minute. At the last minute, add your trimmed spinach and let it cook for just a minute before pulling it off the heat. Served up with lots of Parmesan cheese on the side and maybe a hunk of crusty bread or even a quick Caesar salad, this soup could be an easy lunch or a dinner party dish.
Many of Ina's celeb friends, including the likes of Jennifer Garner and Julianne Moore, chimed in to voice their approval of this recipe, which first appeared in Ina's 2008 cookbook Back to Basics.
"I really need a bowl of that right now," Julianna Margulies wrote in the comments. Some fans wrote in with their own tips for making and storing this recipe, including adding dill just to taste rather than all at once and freezing the leftovers in Souper Cubes for *souper* easy portioning. Other fans wrote in with rave reviews for Ina's cozy soup.
"I, too, love soup, and your Italian Wedding Soup is my all-time favorite," one commenter praised. "Friends are coming over for dinner this week, and that's what I'm making."
If you're in the market for a version of this recipe that is reliably high-protein and low-calorie—not to mention done in 20 minutes—try our Minestra Maritata (Italian Wedding Soup) for a lighter take on the old standard. Just be sure you make enough to enjoy for lunch all week, Ina-style.