Martha Stewart's Shortcut Italian Wedding Soup Uses a Store-bought Ingredient for Flavorful Meatballs

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There must be something in the air, because we’ve been frantically craving Italian wedding soup, and just like that, two of our favorite foodie gals drop their own twists on the classic recipe. First, Ina Garten shared her version of the soup, made with cheesy chicken meatballs, and even celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Julianne Moore couldn’t help but go gaga over it. Now, Martha Stewart has shared her own weeknight-friendly version of Italian wedding soup, and not only does it call for the super-trendy pastina pasta that everyone on TikTok is obsessed with, but it also uses a quick shortcut from the store for getting ultra-flavorful meatballs without having to put in a ton of work or ingredients to make them.

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There are two ways that Stewart infuses her quick soup with bold flavor. For one, she adds Parmesan rind to the soup broth. You can often find a container of Parmesan rinds at the store, if your store has a fancy cheese section (Whole Foods usually has them). But you can also use the rind cut from a wedge of Parm, and our favorite tips is to keep Parmesan rinds from spent wedges in a baggie in the freezer, so when it comes time to make soup, you can just toss one into your pot.

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter.

The second flavor-boosting shortcut Stewart uses is hot Italian sausage. If you want traditional round meatballs, you can remove it from the casing, form meatballs, and cook them in your saucepan, but Stewart keeps things even simpler. She browns Italian sausage links until cooked, then sautees the aromatics for her soup in the rendered sausage fat. Then, she cuts the sausage into thick slices, adding it to the broth later on in the cooking process so it doesn’t dry out.

The thick slices of sausage approximate the same experience of biting into a meatball, but it’s so much easier to make this way, and the Italian sausage comes pre-seasoned, which saves you a ton of time.

All of this is paired with pastina or your favorite small pasta shape, and escarole or any other green you like adds a boost of veggie nutrition to each bowl.

It’s a little more work than opening up a can, but the flavor payoff of Stewart’s homemade weeknight Italian wedding soup recipe is totally worth the extra effort.

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