Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pastina Soup

SP came home from his trip to NYC with a bit of a cold. I guess it's that time of the year. Time to do everything possible to avoid getting sick and if you feel sickness coming on, then do whatever you can to make it quickly disappear. Like eating chicken noodle soup. This soup isn't really chicken noodle soup, it's Pastina Soup, but it's very similar to chicken noodle soup. I saw it in the October Food Network Magazine and I remembered one time long ago when I felt sick, a friend made me pastina and it was so darn comforting. I really wanted pastina. So we made this soup.

Sadly, SP didn't find star shaped pastina, just these little pasta rounds that were labeled as pastina. They were still delicious and comforting even if they weren't star shaped. What I really liked is the extra cheesy, salty bite from the parmesan rinds and the grated parmesan on top that melts into the soup plus the grated lemon zest that brightens the flavor and gives a slight citrus flavor. Definitely a make again soup.
The official recipe is here. Here's what we did:

Early in the morning, SP measured out the chicken stock into a crock pot. He added carrot, celery, a bit of onion, and chicken backs to the stock to give the stock more flavor. After letting it simmer on low for a few hours, he strained the broth and discarded the veggies and chicken backs. Then we followed the recipe, but we substituted onion for shallot and we used a bit more carrot, celery, and pastina. Sadly, when SP added the pastina, it absorbed all of our broth. Whoops. Probably not a good idea to use a little extra carrot, celery, and pastina. Fortunately, we weren't planning on eating the soup that night, so the next day after work he stopped to buy more chicken stock. When he got home, we simply poured some newly purchased low sodium stock into a sauce pan, added some of the cooked pastina and veggies to it, and heated it thoroughly. After ladling the soup into bowls, we grated some parmesan & lemon zest on top.

Next time we'd make more stock and cut back on pastina - and hopefully find the star shaped pastina! If you make this, definitely use the thyme, parmesan rind, grated parmesan, and grated lemon zest.. Otherwise, I think the soup would be a little too bland, especially since there isn't actually any chicken meat in it.


  1. I make this all of the time, it is our Italian comfort food. I usually boil the pastina then add it to the soup. We also make a form of pastina when someone is sick. You just boil the pasta, pour out some of the water, add butter and a beaten egg. Salt and pepper to taste.

    1. I like the sound of pastina with butter and beaten egg. That sounds like good sick food!