How to make Italian wedding soup

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It's natural to think that "Italian Wedding Soup" was traditionally created to serve at Italian weddings. This is the common theory, but it's an incorrect one. The name is actually a misinterpretation of the Italian "minestra maritata" which, literally translated means, "married soup". But you don't have to eat it after just getting married, all the name is meant to imply is that it's a perfect marriage of a soup - pairing meat with leafy green vegetables.
And while it might be known to be traditionally Italian, you can really make it your own any way you'd like. Chicken broth is traditional but the meatballs certainly make beef broth appropriate, as well. But don't be afraid to trade those meatballs for cooked chicken, either. The spinach can be swapped out for escarole, kale, or any other leafy green; and you can choose any type of pasta you'd like. No matter how you scoop it, you'll be left with a delicious Italian wedding soup!
Slow cooker Italian wedding soup
10 minutes
7 hours, 30 minutes
7 hours, 40 minutes
24 - 30 frozen mini meatballs
6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 bay leaves
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups (500 ml) baby spinach
1/2 cup (125 ml) orzo pasta
Place the mini meatballs, chicken stock, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and bay leaves into a 6-quart slow cooker and stir well. Cover with lid, turn heat to low, and cook for 7 hours.
Add spinach and pasta to the slow cooker. Replace lid and cook for another 30 minutes or so, until the pasta is tender and the spinach is wilted.
Serve with salad or crusty bread to make it a complete meal!
Resources Josie Grant
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