Sunday, November 29, 2015

Giada's Comforting Pastina Soup

When you've had your fill of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and pie; when you've lazed about for days; and when your stretchy pants are starting to get's time to get up!  Put that Fitbit back on, turn off the TV, and get back to leading an active lifestyle!

But...the weather? Yes, the weather doesn't help. It's cold and rainy, and let's face one likes cold, rainy weather.  It's ultimately unpleasant. So, we still need comfort food, but we need comfort food that satisfies without weighing us down. After all, it's Christmas time and we have way too many things on our "to-do" list. 

A quick look through Giada's newest cookbook, Happy Cooking, and I noticed this recipe for Pastina Soup. A very comforting and kid-friendly soup made of chicken broth, tiny pasta shapes, peas, carrots, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. The perfect recipe.

The best news is you probably already have everything you need to make this! I will say, with a simple soup like this I do think it's best to use a homemade chicken, or even turkey broth. However, even if you only have store-bought broth this is still a great go-to recipe. We all agreed this is a great family-friendly soup. Children, and adults, love the fun little pasta shapes. The veggies add great color, and flavor, and the sprinkling of Parmesan cheese adds that little touch of indulgence. A feel-good favorite that warms you up without weighing you down.

Pastina Soup
Adapted from Happy Cooking
by Giada De Laurentiis
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (2-inch) piece of Parmesan rind 
4 cups chicken broth
1-1/4 cups little star pasta*
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)

Notes: Use any small-shaped pasta you like. Giada uses stelline (star-shaped pasta). I used alphabet letter pasta to make it fun for the kids.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, celery, carrot, and shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme, salt, Parmesan rind, chicken broth, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 

Add the pasta and stir with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking to the pan. Return to a simmer and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes more, or until the pasta is cooked and the liquid is slightly thickened.

Remove the thyme sprigs and Parmesan rind. Stir in the peas. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the grated cheese and lemon zest, if desired.

Theme: November Potluck


  1. I have made this and you are right, it is so delicious. Perfect for our rainy Kentucky days.

  2. That looks like just the thing to serve when faced with a hungry family and little time.

  3. I have a container of cheese rinds collected over the weeks. You gave me all the reasons to make a pastina soup while feeling light and comforting.

  4. A comforting bowl of pasta soup indeed! Looks yummy. Simple with flavourful ingredients. It looks deliciously homey!

  5. It would be perfect for this steady, dreary, go back to bed weather that we're having!

  6. Kim, this pastina looks very good and easy for a one-dish meal. I want to try this on a lazy day :)

  7. A great warming dish and I love the choice of pasta. You are right, it's time to get moving again after the thanksgiving feasts and sitting around!
    Since we got the Harley trike I admit to much sitting on the back because we ride to eat , but it's fun 😀

  8. Who doesn't like alphabet macaronis? They bring back wonderful memories, and this soup sounds fabulous!

  9. There is something so comforting and delicious bout a bowl of tiny pasta. This looks both warming and wonderful. ;-)

  10. This looks like a lovely soup. I love cold and rainy weather because we never get it in California:)

  11. I have a bag of pastina in the pantry just crying out to be made into this soup. And so easy.....


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