This product blew into Trader Joe’s a couple of months ago and was seemingly a smash hit based on all the comments that were on Facebook and Reddit. I love soup for lunch and dinner and I really like Wedding Soup because it fills me up and is great on a cold winter day to warm you up.
What is Italian Wedding Soup?
Before we dive into the review, I should talk about what is wedding soup. First of all, it has nothing to do with weddings. Somewhere along the way, the term minestra maritata was mistranslated. It literally means “married soup” which is a reference to the marriage of flavors between the greens and the meatballs in a soup. Someone a long time ago mixed up “married” with “wedding” and here we are. This soup is popular in northern Italy where a lot of greens are used in the preparation. That is combined with meatballs, stock, and orzo, or other small pasta. The meatballs are usually chicken based but can be from a variety of meat like beef or pork.
Trader Joe’s takes this one step further and calls it Trader Joe’s Italian Style Wedding soup with meatballs, vegetables and Acini De Pepe in a rich chicken broth. Acini De Pepe is a type of pasta like Cous Cous is a small round pasta. The name translates to “seeds of pepper” because of their size is reminiscent of pepper corn seeds.
The glass jar is very attractive and is visually eye-catching and fun to display. This soup looks almost exactly like Rao’s Wedding Soup and there has been some chatter on Reddit that Rao’s might be making it for Trader Joe’s. If you like Rao’s, this tastes exactly the same to me.
This is soup in a jar. You could eat it right out of the jar but I don’t advise it because heating it up will make it taste much better. The simplest way to heat this is to put it in a small pot and bring to a boil then serve.
The second way would be to put it in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke it for something like 3-4 minutes depending on how much soup you use.
To make this absolutely perfect, grind a bit of black pepper on it and then sprinkle some chopped parsley or parmesan on it before serving but that is just a nice to have feature and not necessary.
Nothing is better than a bowl of hot steaming soup on a cold winter day. I love chicken soup and this soup scratches an itch that I have during the cooler part of the year to have a nourishing meal, especially if you caught a cold or Covid or something. There is plenty of protein with the little beef meatballs and as you can see from the picture above there is a lot of good vegetables, especially carrots.
My suspicion is that Trader Joe’s is contracting with Rao’s or they were able to clone the Rao’s Wedding Soup. It is very very close and considering how expensive Rao’s is per jar, this is a great deal compared to that.
The meatballs didn’t have a lot of flavors but I wasn’t really expecting them to come fully loaded with flavor. It’s odd but there is a lot of sodium in this dish. A whole jar would be a whole day’s worth of salt. I felt it needed a little something in the flavor department. Maybe some cheese on top or black pepper would help. Even some Aleppo pepper or hot sauce. But the backbone of flavor is there with a rich chicken stock and lots of onions, carrots and kale. Even though there is some kale, I think a small handful of spinach or parsley would brighten up this soup quite a bit.
Having said all of that, I really did love this soup. It is full of flavor and fills you up, which doesn’t always happen with soup. I will give this a solid 8 Bells! Enjoy!
CHICKEN BROTH, MEATBALLS (BEEF, WATER, EGG WHITES, WHEAT FLOUR, ROMANO CHEESE [PASTEURIZED COW’S MILK, PASTEURIZED SHEEPS MILK, ANIMAL RENNET, SALT, CHEESE CULTURES, MICROBIAL ENZYME], DRIED ONION, SALT, CANE SUGAR, SPICES, NATURAL FLAVOR, PARSLEY), CARROTS, KALE, ENRICHED ACINI DI PEPE MACARONI PRODUCT (SEMOLINA, EGG WHITES, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), CORNSTARCH, DICED ONION, PARMESAN CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ANIMAL RENNET, MICROBIAL ENZYME, LIPASE, CELLULOSE, CALCIUM CHLORIDE), SEA SALT, PARSLEY FLAKES, BLACK PEPPER, BASIL.
- CONTAINS MILK, EGG, AND WHEAT.