Tennessee Wedding Soup

by | Nov 4, 2014 | Main Dish, Side | 0 comments

Italian wedding soup is a delicious, hearty meal. One night this fall I had a hankering for it, and wanted to make a version with local ingredients. The result was delicious take on the classic soup and I think it will go into regular meal rotation in my house.

Tennessee Wedding Soup


  • 3 q. lamb bone broth* (recipe below), or the same amount of vegetable, chicken or beef broth
  • 1 large bunch dark, leafy greens, torn into pieces (I have broccoli rabe here but other dark greens like collards will also work)
  • 8 oz. small shaped pasta
  • 1 pound ground sausage, rolled into teaspoon sized meatballs OR two links of spicy pork sausage, pan fried and then sliced into coins
  • 4 oz. chunk of good Parmesan with the rind
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil


Trim the rind off the Parmesan. In a small stock pot, gently heat the broth with the Parmesan rind in it. Meanwhile, in a large, dry skillet, toast the pasta over medium heat, until it has turned from yellow to deeply golden (shake the pan often so as not to burn). Add the pasta to the hot broth and cover. If using pork meatballs, go ahead and cook them in a tablespoon of olive oil in the already warm skillet; or, in the same pan, brown and slice the sausages.

Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and return the pan to the heat. Add the greens to the pan with a big pinch of salt and sauté for a moment before adding in the garlic. Sauté until wilted and bright green.

Test the pasta for doneness and remove the Parmesan rind.

Divide the meat and greens evenly among four to six wide bowls. Pour over the the broth and pasta and garnish with sliced or grated Parmesan.

Serves 4-6

Lamb Bone Broth

Roast two pounds of lamb bones on a metal tray at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Place the roasted bones plus the pan drippings into a large stock pot (8 qt.) and cover with water. Simmer, covered, for 6 hours, adding water as needed. Alternatively, you may make this in a slow cooker, cooking on low for 10-12 hours.



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