Italian Pastina Soup Recipe -

Italian Pastina Soup Recipe

Italian Pastina Soup is a comforting and traditional dish often enjoyed as a heartwarming meal across Italy. It features a rich, homemade chicken broth filled with t

ender vegetables, pastina (tiny pasta), and pieces of chicken. This recipe, with the addition of Parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish, offers a wholesome and flavorful experience that’s perfect for cold days or when you’re in need of a comforting bowl of soup.

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 (3 to 4 lb) whole chicken, neck and insides removed
  • 10 to 12 cups water
  • 3 stalks celery, divided
  • 2 white or yellow onions, peeled, divided
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium chicken base (such as Better than Bouillon®)
  • 1 cup pastina or other tiny pasta, such as stars
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, or to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste (optional)

 

Instructions:

 

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken Broth
In a large pot, place the whole chicken and add 10 to 12 cups of water, ensuring the chicken is fully submerged. Add 1 stalk of celery, 1 onion (whole), and 1 carrot (whole) to the pot, along with 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the broth is flavorful.

Step 2: Shred the Chicken
Remove the chicken from the broth and let it cool. Once cool enough to handle, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve to remove the vegetables and any impurities. Return the broth to the pot.

 

Step 3: Prepare the Soup Vegetables
Dice the remaining 2 stalks of celery, 1 onion, and 2 carrots. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced vegetables and minced garlic, sautéing until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Step 4: Combine Broth and Vegetables
Add the sautéed vegetables to the strained broth along with the shredded chicken and the chicken base. Bring the soup to a simmer.

Step 5: Cook the Pastina
Add the pastina to the simmering soup and cook according to the package instructions, usually about 5-7 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.

Step 6: Final Seasoning and Serving
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the chopped parsley (if using). Serve the soup hot, garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (if using).

 

Tips:

  • Broth Flavor: For a richer broth, you can add additional herbs like thyme or bay leaves while simmering the chicken.
  • Serving Suggestion: This soup pairs beautifully with crusty bread for dipping.
  • Storage: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Note that the pastina may absorb some of the broth upon storing, so you may need to add a little water or broth when reheating.

Conclusion

Italian Pastina Soup is a classic comfort food that’s both nourishing and satisfying. It’s a versatile recipe that can be easily adapted based on your preferences or what you have on hand. Enjoy the simple pleasure of homemade soup with this timeless Italian dish.

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