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What is the tradition of Italian wedding soup?

Italian cuisine is renowned for its delicious and hearty soups. One of the most popular and beloved among them is Italian Wedding Soup, which has become a staple in many households across the United States. The name can be confusing as it doesn’t actually have anything to do with weddings. This soup’s roots date back to ancient times in Neapolitan cuisine, where it was originally served as a staple meal for families, a soup consisting of greens and various meats. In this blog post, we will explore the tradition of Italian wedding soup, from its origins to the recipe and variations used today.

Origins of Italian Wedding Soup

The modern Italian wedding soup, which is a hearty soup made with chicken broth, meatballs, and vegetables, derives from the ancient Neapolitan soup called “minestra maritata”. “Minestra maritata” translates to “married soup” in English and refers to the union or marriage between the various meats and leafy greens that make up the soup.

Historically, this soup was served as a part of a traditional wedding feast. However, this dish was not reserved for weddings alone. According to food historians, it was a popular dish of post-wedding celebrations, such as baptisms, communions, and other religious festivals.

The tradition of “marrying” ingredients is fundamental in Neapolitan cuisine. Neapolitans have made a tradition out of using various ingredients in combination with other seasonal vegetables to create a dish that is both flavorful and nourishing. Pairing meats with the vegetables available throughout the year is a vital part of the Neapolitan food culture, rendering dishes delicious and varied. “Minestra maritata” is one of the quintessentially Neapolitan manifestations of this principle.

The Recipe of Italian Wedding Soup

The recipe for Italian wedding soup has evolved over time. It includes ingredients such as chicken broth, meatballs, pasta, and vegetables. This combination of flavors creates a hearty and satisfying soup that is perfect for a cold winter day. Here is a recipe for Italian wedding soup:


– 1 lb ground beef or pork
– 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/4 cup chopped parsley
– 1 egg
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/8 tsp black pepper
– 8 cups chicken broth
– 2 cups chopped kale
– 1 cup diced carrots
– 1/2 cup orzo pasta
– 1/4 cup chopped onion
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp olive oil


1. In a bowl, combine the ground beef or pork with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well and form small meatballs.
2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for two minutes.
3. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
4. Add chopped kale, diced carrots, and orzo pasta to the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes.
5. Add the meatballs to the pot and cook for an additional ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Variations of Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup is a versatile dish, and there are many variations to the recipe. One variation stems from different regions in Italy, and another is from the different interpretations of the recipe. Some variations include adding sausage, beef, or vegetables like celery or escarole. Others may substitute chicken instead of beef or pork.

Some chefs also prepare the soup with different grains, such as barley or rice. Some kitchen enthusiasts will add extra ingredients like garlic or spice it up with chili pepper. Others have added Italian bread crumbs or use different types of cheese. The soup can be served with additional grated Parmesan cheese or crusty Italian bread.


Italian Wedding Soup is a hearty soup that, despite its name, has nothing to do with weddings. Despite the name, it has been enjoyed by everyone across generations. It has evolved from the ancient Neapolitan “minestra maritata” to the modern recipe prevalent today, allowing endless possibilities for variations based on personal preferences. Whatever variation of Italian Wedding Soup you create, it will always carry on the traditional flavors and spirit of the original recipe.


Do Italians eat Italian wedding soup at weddings?

Italian wedding soup is a popular dish that many people associate with Italian cuisine. However, despite its name, the soup is not actually served at Italian weddings. The soup itself, known as minestra maritata in Italian, is a combination of various meats and vegetables, such as meatballs, greens, and pasta, cooked together in a flavorful broth.

So why is it called “wedding soup”? One theory suggests that the name comes from the fact that the combination of meats and vegetables is a “marriage” of flavors. Another theory is that it was a mispronunciation of the Italian phrase “minestra maritata” which means “married soup.”

Regardless of its name, the soup is not typically served at Italian weddings. Italian weddings are typically long, multi-course affairs with traditional dishes such as antipasti, pasta dishes, and meats like roasted chicken, lamb, or beef. These dishes are usually accompanied by wine, Champagne, or prosecco.

While minestra maritata may not be a wedding dish, it is still a popular and delicious choice for any occasion. The soup has been a staple of Italian-American cuisine for generations and can be found on the menus of many Italian restaurants throughout the United States.

Despite its name, Italian wedding soup is not traditionally served at Italian weddings. While the soup itself is a delicious and popular dish, Italian weddings usually have a different menu that includes a variety of antipasti, pasta dishes, and meats.

Is Italian wedding soup American?

Italian wedding soup is a popular soup dish that is enjoyed by many people. This soup has been enjoyed for centuries in Italian culture. The name of the soup, “wedding soup”, is believed to have originated from the Italian phrase, “minestra maritata,” which translates to “married soup”.

While the origins of Italian wedding soup came from Italy, the version of this soup that is popular in America has some differences. Over time, Italian immigrants to America adapted the traditional recipe to use ingredients that were readily available in America. The main difference between the Italian and American versions of wedding soup is that in America, the soup often contains meatballs made from a mixture of ground beef and ground pork, whereas traditional Italian wedding soup uses small bits of meat such as sausage or chicken.

Additionally, Italian wedding soup has many variations in the United States. Some people add vegetables like carrots, celery, or onions to the soup while others opt for a simpler broth-based recipe. Moreover, some variations use ditalini or spaghetti instead of pastina.

While Italian wedding soup originated from Italy, the version that is popular in America has undergone some changes that make it a uniquely American dish. Today, Italian wedding soup is a popular food that can be enjoyed at Italian-American restaurants or made at home with ingredients that are commonly found at any grocery store.

What is the Italian cash wedding gift?

In Italy, weddings are considered to be a grand celebration and a means of showing love and support for the couple. One of the most distinctive and traditional aspects of an Italian wedding is the custom of giving cash as a wedding gift.

The cash gift is usually given to the newlyweds on the day of the wedding and is an important part of their wedding celebration. In most cases, the gifts are given in the form of an envelope, which is placed in a special bag that the bride carries, known as la borsa. This satin bag is usually held by the bride as she and her groom greet their guests during the reception.

It is customary for guests who give cash gifts to specify the purpose or the intention of the gift on the envelope. For instance, guests who want to congratulate the newlyweds usually write “auguri” on the envelope, while those who wish to help them with their honeymoon write “viaggio” or “luna di miele”. Meanwhile, guests who want a dance with the bride usually write “balli da sposa” on their envelope.

The amount of cash that is given as a wedding gift varies depending on the guest’s financial situation, the relationship with the newlyweds and the region where the wedding is taking place. Usually, the cash gifts amount to $100 to $400. It is customary for the best man or a trusted family member to keep track of the amounts and who gave what to the bride during the reception.

The cash gifts given during weddings usually serve as a way to help the newlyweds get started on their lives together. They can use the money to purchase a home, pay off any debts, or take a honeymoon trip. In some regions of Italy, the cash gifts are used to help the couple establish their business or start a family, thus giving them financial stability.

Cash weddings gifts in Italy are a long-held tradition that is deeply rooted in the culture. It is a way for guests to show their love and support to the newlyweds as they embark on a new journey in their lives. The gift of cash is considered a practical and useful gift that the couple can use to establish their future.