Chef John's Italian Wedding Soup

Chef John's Italian Wedding Soup

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Chef John 23782

"Don't wait for a wedding to make this delicious and comforting soup with kale, tiny pasta, and tender little beef meatballs."
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6 h 10 m servings 214 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



  • Calories:
  • 214 kcal
  • 11%
  • Fat:
  • 10.2 g
  • 16%
  • Carbs:
  • 16.8g
  • 5%
  • Protein:
  • 14.5 g
  • 29%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 47 mg
  • 16%
  • Sodium:
  • 713 mg
  • 29%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.


  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large, heavy pot over high heat; brown beef shank slice in hot oil until seared and browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Add onion, carrot, celery, water, bay leaf, 3 cloves peeled garlic, and black peppercorns; bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat falls off the bone and stock turns brown in color, 4 to 5 hours. Add more water if beef stock level gets below about 5 cups.
  2. Place beef short ribs into freezer until firm and very cold, about 15 minutes. Cut meat into cubes and return to freezer until almost frozen, about 30 more minutes.
  3. Whisk egg with parsley, 2 cloves garlic, and cream in a bowl. Stir in bread crumbs and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  4. Place partially-frozen beef cubes into food processor and pulse with with 1/3 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper until beef is coarsely ground, 5 to 10 pulses. Pulse in bread crumb mixture until mixture is finely ground, about 5 more pulses. Transfer meat to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
  5. Strain beef stock into a large soup pot, discarding beef and vegetables. Mix chicken broth into beef stock and whisk in tomato paste. Bring broth mixture to a simmer and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir kale into broth; simmer kale until tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Scoop 2-teaspoon portions of the meat mixture and roll into meatballs.
  7. Pour pastina into the simmering soup, cook for 5 minutes, and gently add meatballs. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through and tender, about 15 minutes. Serve in bowls garnished with a pinch of black pepper or a sprinkle of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


  • Cook's Note:
  • To make fresh bread crumbs, cut crusts from fresh Italian bread, cut bread into cubes, and process in a food processor into fine crumbs, 10 to 30 seconds.


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For those wondering where the ground beef is, The recipe has you use a food processor to coarsely grind the beef and combine it with the meatball ingredients. Overall this is an amazing recipe a...

Delicious. Made this tonight and it is so tasty. I had lots of greens in frig so used one 10 oz packages of Kale and 1 pkg Southern Greens from Trader Joe's with eggs, heavy whipping cream and b...

Chef John, I have not made this yet....I definitely want to try it, but I was wondering, why do you not just use ground beef instead of using a food processor to grind it?

This recipe sounds delicious Chef John, and I'm dying to make it, but I believe you're missing an ingredient...the meat for the meatballs!! This is my 10 year old son's favorite soup and he's p...

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