Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Serves: 12

This version of Italian wedding soup is rich and comforting, with silky broth, flavourful chicken meatballs, and leafy spinach.


1 lb (0.5 kg) lean ground chicken
4 qt low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups (500 mL) acini de pepe
2 cups (500 mL) orzo
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 egg(s), medium
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) onion powder
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) black pepper, freshly ground
1/3 cup (75 mL) parsley, fresh, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp (30 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
6 cups (1.5 L) baby spinach, washed


1 Cook acini de pepe pasta in unsalted water until a dente. Drain and set aside. Do not overcook as the pasta should be firm when added to the soup.
2 Pour the chicken broth into a large soup pot, cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to simmer.
3 Tear bread into tiny pieces by hand. Make meatballs by mixing together torn bread, ground chicken, egg, minced garlic, onion powder, freshly-ground black pepper, minced parsley and Parmesan cheese. Form into half ounce (1 Tbsp/15 mL) meat balls. A one-quarter cup (60 mL) measure can be cut into four pieces and then formed into balls by hand. If you have the patience you can make your meatballs smaller (e.g., 1 ½ tsp size).
4 Gently place meatballs in simmering broth, cover and bring back to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
5 Stir in washed baby spinach and the cooked, drained acini de pepe pasta. Allow spinach to wilt and pasta to heat through but do not overcook.
6 To serve ladle the soup into bowls garnished with more Parmesan cheese.