Shortcut Italian Wedding Soup

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

A Parmesan rind is the powerhouse ingredient behind this fast, flavorful version of the classic soup.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage (4 links)

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

  • ½ bulb fennel, finely chopped (1 cup), plus fronds for serving

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 Parmesan rind, plus shaved Parmesan for serving

  • cup pastina, such as acini di pepe

  • 3 cups escarole leaves, torn into bite-size pieces

  • 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add sausage; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add onion, fennel, and a pinch of salt to pot. Cook, stirring, until softened, 10 minutes (if browning too quickly, add a splash of water). Add broth, 3 cups water, and rind. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, toast pastina in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add to simmering broth. Slice sausage; add to saucepan with accumulated juices. Cook, stirring, until pastina is al dente and sausage is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Drizzle escarole with vinegar; season with salt and pepper and divide evenly among bowls. Ladle soup over it; top with shaved cheese, fennel fronds, and pepper.

    Shortcut Italian Wedding Soup
    Alpha Smoot
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