Italian Wedding Soup

Serving Size: 4
Prep Time:
Total Time:

This soup has nothing to do with weddings, so confirmed bachelors and bachelorettes can relax. Wedding soup is a mistranslation of the Italian vernacular for a good blend, or "marriage," of ingredients. The Italian name for this dish is zuppa maritata, which literally means "married soup." Occasionally the soup is actually served to the bride and groom and their attendants for luck, but I've never seen it at an Italian wedding. 

There are countless variations of the classic soup. I once made a version for my own mama; she said the soup was delicious but asked me not to use meatballs unless they were her original recipe. Carolina Coppola loved the soup, but she informed me that there are never beans in it (so I removed them from this version). Life with Italian women is tough!


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (9-ounce) bag escarole, roughly chopped
  • 4 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, such as Swanson's
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 Ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated



Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and onions and cook until the onions soften, about 2 minutes. Add the escarole; reduce the heat to medium and cook until the escarole wilts to half its original volume, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add 2 cups water, and boil to fully cook the escarole until the water is evaporated.

Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat, then add the egg whites, stirring until they start to coagulate. Then stop stirring so the egg whites form long strands.

Ladle the soup into 4 soup bowls and top with Parmigiano and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Tip: Be careful not to overstir the egg whites or they will break up instead of forming long beautiful strands.

Check out the video playlist above to watch Rocco make this recipe.

In "Now Eat This! Italy," watch New York Times best-selling author and celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito as he travels to Italy to learn how to make all our favorite Italian dishes from the real Mamas of Italy like lasagna Bolognese with Lucia Ercolano, Spaghetti Vongole with Daniella Miccio and Insalata Caprese with Maria Ercolano. In this unique intersection of travel, adventure, culinary and healthy Rocco answers the question, "Can you eat pasta and lose weight?"

Produced: 2013 By: Savory Place Media