Pastina – Italian chicken soup for the soul

When you feel unwell, a cold, a flue, or just generally flat, this soup is amazing!


  • 2TBS olive oil
  • 2TBS butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, with leaves, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 2 quarts chicken broth (home made or store bought)
  • about 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup dry pastina
  • grated parmesan cheese

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat then add the olive oil and butter. When the oil is hot and the butter is melted, add the chopped onion. Stir and cook a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Then add the carrots and celery and cook for a few more minutes. (The onion is cooked first so that the sharp, raw onion flavor doesn’t permeate the flavor of the other vegetables.)

To the cooked vegetables add the chicken broth and bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Each pasta shape requires a different time. The stelline that I used took seven minutes. When the pasta is cooked, add the shredded chicken and heat thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with grated parmesan. Serve with garlic bread.