Kids and grown-ups alike will love this yummy hearty soup chock full of little meatballs, bite sized pasta, carrots and escarole.
I have three kids, ages 6, 2 and 2, and they have a range of tastes, from picky to slightly adventurous, and it is my mission to find meals that we can all eat together, as a family, that both the kids and the adults enjoy. When I do find such a thing, such as this Meatball Soup, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot.
My kids love meatballs, my Dutch husband practically grew up on them, I like meatballs too, so it’s no wonder that this soup is one of our favorites. My son has a mild egg allergy, so the meatballs in this soup do not contain egg.
I’ve been making a version of this soup for years, since back before I even had any kids, it originally was a variation on Italian Wedding Soup. Wedding soup typically contains green vegetables — in my version I use escarole, and meat — I use meatballs, in a chicken based broth.
Despite the name, according to food historians, Italian Wedding Soup has nothing to do with wedding ceremonies. Instead, the name is based on a loose translation of the Italian phrase minestra maritata, which means “married soup” — a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. I agree, Italian Wedding Soup is delicious!
My 6 year old son is the pickiest eater of my three kids and even he will eat all the components of this soup, but his favorite is the meatballs and he always asks for seconds of just the meatballs. Inevitably we’d end up with some soup with no meatballs left. So, I’ve been gradually increasing the percentage of meatballs in this soup, so that though it still has the traditional elements found in wedding soup, the meatballs are definitely the star, and I now call it Meatball Soup.
This recipe makes a big batch, easily enough for two dinners for our family of five. It freezes and reheats well, so we eat half the day I make it and the other half goes into the freezer.