California Italian Wedding Soup Recipe -
California Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
  • READY IN 25 mins

California Italian Wedding Soup

Recipe by  

"This is my variation of a standard recipe. I like fresh basil and a little lemon rind, so those are basically my only changes. This is a quick and easy soup with flavors that impress all."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    25 mins


  1. Mix together the meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, and green onions; shape into 3/4 inch balls.
  2. Pour broth into a large saucepan over high heat. When boiling, drop in meatballs. Stir in escarole, lemon zest and orzo. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender, stirring frequently. Serve sprinkled with cheese.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 22, 2008

I have been making this recipe for about 4 years now and consider it the best version of wedding soup I have ever tasted. I make a double batch of meatballs from ground sirloin, then bake them at 350 for about 12-15 minutes to get rid of the grease. I then freeze half of them for another day. Definitely use the fresh basil and onion in the meatballs, and the lemon zest in the soup. They are what set this recipe apart from the usual salty wedding soups. It also helps to use homemade or organic chicken broth.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 19, 2010

Not bad but I have had better Wedding soup. The search continues. The meatballs are terrific. that is why I gave it threee stars.

Nov 14, 2003

This is good but I tried it the 2nd time with just pork meatballs and it is much tastier. Chicken and pork mixed is also tastier than the ground beef.

Jan 27, 2004

Wow! I have never rated a recipe before, but I randomly came across this one and thought the ingredients sounded good. While it was cooking, my husband turned up his nose, and questioned where I got the idea from. When I served it, he coldn't stop raving, and not a drop was left. It is luscious, delectable and definitely one our new comfort foods! Don't hesitate, make it today. I would have given it six stars if it had been an option! (PS I used the spinach instead of the escarole, and we served it with a generous splash of lemon juice on each bowl)

Aug 03, 2006

This is a light soup that is perfect with deli sandwiches for a quick and easy summer meal. I used ground turkey in place of ground beef and added the juice of half a lemon to the pot. As others suggested, I made the meatballs as small as possible and used spinach. Even my fussy teen-aged daughter loved it. This is a great soup to serve when you want to impress someone--it looks like a lot more work would have gone into preparing it, but it's really simple and easy to make.

Aug 05, 2006

Wonderful soup - the lemon zest is mandatory! I used all the fresh herbs as recommended, plus added more chopped green onions into the soup itself. Used fresh Italian sausage for great flavor; no escarole available so had to use spinach; added 1 med cubed red potato (skin on) + 1/2 cup shredded carrots, then since it was a touch salty (may replace some broth with water next time), I added 1/2 cup milk and my family raved about it and a couple asked for the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Aug 03, 2006

I have been making Italian wedding soup for years and everyone loves it, yes it is so easy to make, but the whole idea of flavoring the chicken broth is to cook the meatballs directly in the broth, being as tiny as they are they cook very quickly. I use lemon pepper if I don't have lomon it helps brighten up the taste.

Aug 03, 2006

This is a great recipe, however, I changed it slightly by using half lean pork meat and half lean ground beef and the flavour was immensly better.


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  • Calories
  • 159 kcal
  • 8%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 15.4 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol
  • 55 mg
  • 18%
  • Fat
  • 5.6 g
  • 9%
  • Fiber
  • 1.4 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 11.5 g
  • 23%
  • Sodium
  • 99 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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