Calabrian Holiday Soup

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 3 hours


14 servings (3-1/2 quarts)

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
My family is from the Italian region of Calabria; our version of Italian wedding soup has been handed down through the generations. We serve this soup with the Christmas meal as well as at weddings. —Gwen Keefer, Sylvania, Ohio
Calabrian Holiday Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 3 cups uncooked instant rice
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 3 large eggs, beaten


  1. Place chicken in a 6-qt. stockpot; add water to cover. Slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 2-3 hours. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, oregano, basil and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1/2-in. balls.
  2. Remove carcass from stockpot; cool. Return broth to a simmer; add meatballs. Cook, uncovered, 8-10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
  3. Remove meat from carcass; shred meat with 2 forks and return to pot. Discard carcass and skin. Bring broth to a boil; stir in rice and spinach. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Drizzle beaten eggs into soup, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining salt and pepper.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 318 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 120mg cholesterol, 606mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 1g fiber), 29g protein.