Italian Meatball Soup Recipe

Italian Meatball Soup Recipe by Cookbook Author Maria Desiderata Montana
Italian Meatball Soup Recipe by Cookbook Author Maria Desiderata Montana

Soup with a bite: Italian meatball soup recipe is family-favorite comfort food

My Italian upbringing meant “meatballs in the house” — meatballs covered with marinara, fried meatballs, baked meatballs, meatball sandwiches, you name it. I thought making meatballs had been explored at every angle imaginable, until I discovered my mom’s meatball soup.


Italian meatball soup is comforting, delicious and easy to prepare


Back in the day, when I came home from school, a pot of simmering goodness was often waiting for me. Smelling the aroma of fresh garlic, I remember lifting up the large lid off the soup pot and seeing little meatballs floating about in a sea of greens and bright orange carrot slices. It was even more special than traditional meatballs covered with sauce, because it was a fun way to eat soup.

A tad earthy and all-around comforting, delicious, and a bit unexpected, this is one of the best soup recipes from my mother’s kitchen. It’s easy to prepare in just one pot, the ingredients are affordable, and it’s ideal for lunch or dinner now that fall is in the air.

Your family will love it so much that you’ll want to make it often.

Italian Meatball Soup With Organic Mixed Greens

Makes 8 servings

  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces organic mixed greens and spinach salad mix, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1½ cups bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese, for garnish

1. Pour chicken broth into a large sauce pot and set aside.

2. Rinse and drain the mixed greens, set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine ground beef, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and eggs. With your hands, incorporate all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

4. Roll meat mixture into meatballs, as big or as little as you like. Place meatballs on a large plate.

5. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat just a bit and carefully drop meatballs in, one at a time.

6. Add mixed greens, carrots and olive oil. Cover and let soup simmer until greens are wilted and meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

7. Ladle soup into bowls and serve. Garnish with grated Pecorino-Romano cheese.

*This story by Maria Desiderata Montana first appeared in the U-T San Diego
San Diego Italian Food Book
San Diego Italian Food Book

Get more of my Italian recipes in my newest book San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond

As ethnic neighborhoods in other cities assimilate to American life, the exuberant local flavor of San Diego’s Little Italy remains both culturally and culinarily distinct. Tucked between Interstate 5 and San Diego Bay southeast of San Diego International Airport, the blocks surrounding the landmark Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church contain many of the most notable eateries and gourmet cafés in “America’s Finest City.” Join Maria Desiderata Montana, a daughter of that Italian heritage and one of the city’s most notable food writers, on this savory tour through the zesty Italian food traditions, businesses and recipes both in Little Italy and across San Diego.