Mini Meatball Soup

Total Time:
47 min
20 min
27 min

4 big servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef, pork and veal combined
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried pasta, rings, broken fettuccini or ditalini
  • 1 pound triple washed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Grilled 4 Cheese Sandwiches, recipe follows
  • Grilled 4 Cheese Sandwiches
  • Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, cracked away from skin
  • 8 slices crusty Italian semolina bread
  • 1 cup shredded provolone
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
  • 1 cup shredded Asiago
  • * All of these cheeses are available in specialty cheese case and dairy aisle already shredded

In a deep pot over medium heat add oil, chopped carrots, celery and onions and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook veggies 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the veggies cook, combine meat, egg, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

Uncover your soup pot and add broth and water to the pot. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. When soup boils, reduce heat a bit and start to roll meat mixture into small balls, dropping them straight into the pot. You are making meat dumplings that will cook in the broth. When you are done rolling the meat, add pasta to the soup and stir. Cover and simmer soup 10 minutes. When pasta is tender, stir in chopped spinach in batches. When spinach has wilted into the soup, the soup is done and ready to serve. Adjust your seasonings. Serve soup with crusty bread or grilled 4 cheese sandwiches.

In a small skillet over medium low heat, combine oil, butter and garlic. Cook garlic in butter and oil gently for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove garlic butter mixture from heat.

Place a large nonstick skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Using a pastry brush, brush 1 side of 4 slices of bread with garlic oil and place buttered side down in skillet. Top each slice with equal amounts of the 4 cheeses, distributing them equally over the 4 slices. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread brushed with garlic butter, buttered side up. Flip the grill cheese sandwiches a few times until cheeses are melted and gooey and bread is toasty and golden. Cut grilled 4 cheese sandwiches from corner to corner and serve.

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    The meatballs are amazing!
    I love this soup, but i have to leave the spinach out so my family will eat it. I add scallions instead.
    Excellent soup. The meatballs are so delicious with that combination of nutmeg and parmesan. I also used two slices of decent white bread pulsed in a food processor instead of regular bread crumbs and I think that makes the meatballs more tender. I couldn't believe I had no ditalini pasta as I always keep it on hand because it's already so small that when it swells up in soups it still looks a decent size as opposed to a larger noodle such as macaroni or shells. Well, had to go with what was on hand which was linguini that I broke up into 2 inch pieces. With the spinach it really made for a beautiful-looking soup, however I would still recommend using ditalini for this soup. Since the noodles swelled up and absorbed some liquid, I added an extra 2 cups of water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes and it was great.
    Perfect sunday lunch. Everyone liked it. My 15 yo ate 3 bowls. I have some left for weekday lunch, perfect Thermos food.
    Very tasty but I did doctor it up a bit. I used frozen meatballs cut in quarters, added crushed red pepper, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and finished it with half & half and parmesianno reggiano. I didn't bother chopping the baby spinach. However, I followed the method exactly and had a hearty meal on the table in 40 minutes. Great technique and will use many times for a delish & fast meal. We like our food well seasoned but I'm sure it's delicious as written.
    Husband said it was the best soup I've made in awhile (we eat a lot of soup, and my 2 year old devoured it. Yum!
    I have made this soup for our Tailgating parties at NE Patriot Games. It is always a big hit! Thanks Rachel! Making the mini meatballs takes time so I make 2 batches of meatballs, freeze one for the next pot of soup. Every second batch is a breeze.
    I made this soup, I did not use veal.. Im not a big fan of veal. The soup was subperb. I had some leftover. The next day reheated, OMG, it was very tasty. I will definately make this again..
    I made this soup last night and it was not only really pretty, but very good. I didn't use veal or beef, only pork. And instead of bread crumbs I used brown rice flour. I thought the amount of spinach was perfect. I used slightly less pasta, as I was finishing a box and didn't want to open a new one. I used whole wheat shells. I think you could probably prep the meatballs and make them ahead to decrease prep time. I made mine very small, and they were perfect in the soup. I will be making this again! Thanks, Rach!!
    A little bit more work than I like to put into soup. But it was tasty.
    Very tasty, but too much spinach. Maybe 8 oz. would be better than a pound. Good overall.
    This was amazing!! Simple and hearty. I cut back on pasta and only added 1C instead of 1 1/2C. I also replaced nutmeg with cinnamon. It was perfect!!! 
    My boys loved this one...... This will be my new go to simple and delicious soup recipe. You will want to double up
    Delicious! Added a can of diced tomatoes and cut back on the broth and it was amazing, totally hit the spot even with a horrible cold.
    Thanks Rachel, I always watch your show and say that food look great and for the first time I can say it tastes as good as it looks. I changed 1 or 2 things but I followed your lead... Keep up the great work.
    This soup if great..My daughter loves it. Thank you Rachel
    The soup turned out very tasty. I used beef broth (it's what I had on hand, german egg noodles, and half pork/half ground beef for the meatballs. I also added a few dried thai chiles for a little spicy kick. I left out the celery because I don't really like it.  
    I was surprised at how delicious the spinach is in this soup. Don't leave it out! Good recipe.
    I used 1/2 lb beef, and 1lb pork and the meatballs turned out awesome! I would suggest making the meatballs before prepping the veggies so that they all get added at the same time and are done at the same time. I will definitely be making this again!
    Delicious and easy. Used half ground beef and half sausage for the meatballs. This is going in the dinner rotation from now on.
    what can I say Rachael Ray. Simply the best!
    This was wonderful, rustic, and hearty! Even better the next day.
    I usually read the reviews first to get tips from people that have made the dish. It really helps and i appreciate it. This soup was simply delicious! I had some nice crusty bread to go with the soup. I cooked the pasta separate and had each person serve it in their bowl of soup when ready to eat so it won't get soggy. I did the same with the spinach and kept it on the side and so you just add as much as you want in your bowl. Finally, i used one extra cup of broth and 1 less cup of water. My 10yr old loved the mini-meatballs and ate the spnach too....what a pleasant surprise! I will definitely make this dish many more times!!! Very hearty and yummy!!!
    I was a little wary about making this soup but it ended up being the best soup I have ever had. I now make it every Sunday so I have some for lunch for the week. Def. try this soup!
    Rachael Ray has done it again. I have made this soup time and time again and it never gets old. My whole family loves it from my picky husband to my uncle battling cancer. They think it is wonderful. The only thing that I do different is keep the pasta out so that the noodles don't get soggie and absorbe all that wonderful broth. I also make the meatballs a head of time, so that dinner is on the table in 30 minutes. Thanks again and keep 'em coming!!! :0)
    This soup is fabulous! To add in extra veggies (I have a 10 month old and a 3 year old) I either add a 1/2 cup of shredded carrot or 1/2 cup of pureed spinach into the meatballs, the kiddos never notice the difference and it gets them to eat the spinach they see in the soup as well since it all tastes so good. Also when we make the meatballs I make them with 1/2 of a mild ground italian sausage and 1/2 ground turkey...since turkey comes as 1.5 pounds and the sausage 1 pound I double the other ingredients then freeze half the mixture (as meatballs rolled on a sheet pan then put into a freezer bag) so that the next time it's a super duper fast meal and I only have to roll meatballs every other time!
    I made this soup for New Year's and it got rave reviews. I make it all the time at our house. I actually substitute ground chicken for the meat mixture, and use parsley instead of nutmeg. It becomes a modified Italian wedding, and tastes great! My husband LOVES this soup. And he's not a "soup guy" either. Add it to your recipe book!
    Love this soup and have made it several times, but..... it takes 45 mins or more for my husband and I together to roll the meatballs and prepare the rest of the soup. We won't stop making it because it is so darn good though. 30 mins, no way!
    This recipe is great. An easy version of Italian Wedding Soup. Even my picky son loves it. I have been making this for years and every Halloween my son and his friends ask for this before they go trick or treating. The only thing I don't use is the fresh spinach. I use defrosted spinach. Make this at least once a month during the fall and winter. Thank you Rachael.
    I was searching for a way to use up some stock I made the other day and ran across this recipe! I was very good, very quick and super easy to make.
    I've been holding this recipe in my recipe box since 2003 and finally tonight I decided to try it. It was awesome! So easy! So tasty! What was I waiting for!
     This is one recipe that will make it into my winter rotation.
    This soup is great, with lots of flavor. I have been making this one for a few years now! YUM!
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