Easy Pastina Soup
on Sep 14, 2022, Updated Nov 04, 2023
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This Easy Pastina Soup 🍲 is incredibly comforting and healing, making it the ultimate 🇮🇹 Italian comfort food. This recipe is so nostalgic and something that you can find every Italian making in their own special way. It is incredibly healthy, nutrient-dense, and good for the soul.
Why You’ll Love Easy Pastina Soup
🍝 Versatile Pastina: Discover the charm of “pastina” pasta, those tiny pasta shapes that make this dish a delight for all ages.
🥕 Hidden Veggies: Perfect for picky eaters, the veggies are skillfully blended into the broth, which certainly ensures a vegetable-free taste and texture.
🧀 Customizable Toppings: Traditionally topped with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, this soup allows for dairy-free alternatives and personal preferences.
🍲 Recipe Flexibility: Transform this soup into beef broth by adding beef, chicken broth by adding chicken, or simply enjoy it as is, depending on your mood.
🏫 School Lunch Hero: Packed in a thermos, it’s an ideal school lunch, sure to please even the pickiest of kids.
🇮🇹 Embrace Tradition: Try this Italian tradition and share your own “pastina with brodo” experiences in the comments.
How To Prepare Easy Pastina Soup
Prepare the Broth: In a large pot, combine 10 ½ cups of water 💦 (or vegetable broth) and heat until boiling.
Veggies: Include a halved yellow onion, celery ribs, carrots, and garlic 🧄. Don’t forget to season with 🧂 salt.
Simmer + Blend: Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and allow it to simmer for 45 minutes until the vegetables are soft while the liquid reduces. Afterward, blend the cooked veggies with broth until the mixture is smooth.
Cook the Pasta: Now, boil your choice of pastina in a separate pot.
Serve: Begin by placing the cooked pastina in a bowl. Then, pour the blended broth over the pastina. To finish, garnish with Parmigiano, and now you’re ready to enjoy!
I used a pastina by the name of “seme di melone” which translates to melon seeds (hence the look) but you can use any tiny pasta shape of choice.
Substitutes and Variations
Now, let’s explore some exciting ways to customize this soup to suit your preferences and dietary needs because one of the best things about this recipe, is its versatility.
- Pasta Variations: Instead of pastina, try other small pasta shapes like orzo, tiny stars, or tiny macaroni noodles.
- Broth Options: While the recipe uses water and vegetable broth, you can experiment with different broths, such as chicken or beef, for varied flavors. For a lighter option, opt for low-sodium broth.
- Dairy-Free Topping: If you’re dairy-free, substitute Parmigiano Reggiano with dairy-free cheese or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor without dairy.
- Custom Ingredients: You can certainly get creative by adding other ingredients like spinach, kale, or other leafy greens to boost the nutrition.
- Protein Choices: To increase protein content, consider adding cooked chicken, ground beef, or ground turkey. Alternatively, keep it vegetarian with plant-based protein sources like tofu or beans.
- Dietary Modifications: Adjust the recipe to suit dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta or low-carb by using cauliflower rice instead of pasta.
- Spice It Up: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick. Experiment with other seasonings like paprika, cayenne, or Italian seasoning to tailor the flavor to your preferences.
- Garnish and Presentation: While Parmigiano Reggiano is a traditional topping, consider garnishing with fresh basil, parsley, or a drizzle of olive oil for an elegant presentation.
Best Served With
For a complete and hearty meal, consider serving this easy pastina soup with some delicious homemade bread. So, here are some of my favorites:
- No-Knead Peasant Bread
- No-Knead Gluten-Free Bread
- Cheesy Roasted Garlic Bread
- Grandma’s No-Knead Olive Bread
- No-Knead Foccocia
If you’re interested in comforting soups, don’t forget to explore other similar soup recipes on my blog:
- Lasagna Soup
- Greek Lemon Soup
- The Best Lentil Soup
- Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup
- Healthy Cream of Broccoli Soup
- Healthiest Cream of Hidden Veggie Soup
- Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
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Yes, you certainly can. Add bone-in chicken or beef into the broth and let it boil until tender but fully cooked. Chicken will take 45 minutes, and beef will take a bit longer. I would cook the broth with the beef on low heat for about 1.5 to 2 hours. You can also use beef bones (without meat) for flavor.
Yes you can, you will simply let it cool completely, then transfer it into a freezer-safe container and freezer. Broth can be also frozen into ice cube trays as well.
Absolutely, you start by preheating a thermos with boiling water but make sure you keep it closed. While the thermos warms up, heat the broth on the stove and boil the pastina separately. This entire process should only take about 10 minutes. Once the thermos is ready, empty the hot water, and add the pastina to the broth inside it, leaving some space at the top to prevent a vacuum seal, which would make it harder to open. If desired, sprinkle some fresh Parmesan over the soup before serving.
Can I cook the pastina in the broth directly?
Yes, you certainly can if you serve the soup right away. The longer the pastina sits in the broth, it will absorb all the liquid and make everything super starchy. I like to cook pastina separately if I will be enjoying the soup over the course of a few days.
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Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Then, place it in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Leftovers can be safely stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
If you have more leftovers than you can consume in a few days, freezing is a great option. Portion the soup into airtight containers or resealable freezer bags. Ensure there’s some room for expansion to prevent containers from cracking. Label the containers with the date. The soup can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover soup, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. To reheat, use a microwave, stovetop, or an oven. Make sure to heat it thoroughly until it’s steaming hot. You may need to add a bit of water or broth to adjust the consistency.
If you want to make this soup vegan or vegetarian, simply leave out the chicken completely.
Easy Pastina Soup
- 10.5 cups water, (2 ½ liters), you can also use organic unsalted veggie broth or use ½ water and ½ broth
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
- 2 celery ribs, cut in half
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- salt, (start with ½ tablespoon, then taste and adjust)
- 1 cup pastina, boiled (any small pasta shape, such as orzo, little stars, or tiny macaroni noodles)
- parmigiano, for garnish
- Fill a large pot with the water (or ½ water and ½ organic unsalted vegetable broth) and heat over high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and season with salt. Bring the contents to a boil.
- Once the broth is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and semi cover the pot with a lid. Let cook for 45 minutes or until the veggies are all super soft and the quantity of liquid has reduced. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt, if needed.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the veggies to a blender, as well as 2 ladles full of broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the blended mixture back to the pot of broth and stir.
- Meanwhile, separately boil any pastina of choice in a small pot of salted water.
- Add a ladle of the cooked pastina to the bottom of a bowl, pour the broth on top, and dust with some parm. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.