Soups

Pastina Soup (Italian Chicken Noodle Soup)

September 12, 2019 (Last Updated: November 6, 2019)

Cosy and comforting Italian Pastina Soup made with homemade chicken broth and tiny pasta stars. This easy soup recipe is the perfect way to beat those winter blues, made with wholesome ingredients and served with a cheesy parmesan crouton!

A close up of pastina soup with crusty bread at the side

When you’re hit with a winter cold you know that a big bowl chicken noodle soup is a sure way to nourish your body to a speedy recovery.

It’s cosy, warming and full of wholesome ingredients not to mention it’s absolutely delicious!

When I’m looking for comforting soup recipes I also love to reach for Pasta e Fagioli, Tuscan farro soup (my absolute fav) and creamy mushroom soup.

We have a tonne of cosy winter soup recipes on the blog so you’ll never get bored!

So What is Pastina Soup?

Pastina soup is Italy’s version of chicken noodle soup. 

It’s made with a nourishing homemade chicken broth and tiny pasta stars known as ‘Pastina’.

The great thing about this chicken pastina soup is that it can be whipped up in no time. Especially if you have pasta in the cupboard and a freezer or pantry stocked with chicken broth.

It’s super easy to make and you can easily adjust the amount of pasta to your liking.

If you make the chicken broth from scratch it will take a little longer but it’s so worth it for both nutrition and flavour. It’s also a great way to use leftover chicken.

You can store homemade broth in the freezer for months and take it out as you need it!

How to Make Chicken Broth for a Nourishing Soup

Remove as much cooked chicken meat and skin from the carcass as possible. Add the chicken carcass and any other chicken bones to a large, deep pot and add the vegetables and herbs (you don’t need to peel any vegetables).

Fill the pot with water until the chicken is covered then cover with a lid and bring to a boil (photo 1).

Once boiling uncover and reduce to a simmer. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface (photo 2).

Step by step photos for making chicken stock for pastina soup

Simmer the stock (uncovered) for 2-3 hours or longer (the longer you leave it the more concentrated the flavour will be but the less stock you’ll have as it will keep reducing (photo 3).

Pass through a sieve or colander so you’re left with the homemade stock and discard the bones, vegetables and herbs (photo 4).

How to Make Pastina Soup – Step by Step

Heat the chicken broth until boiling then add in the pastina pasta.

A photo of adding pastina pasta to chicken soup

Boil the pasta for 3-4 minutes or until al dente (tiny pasta shapes will cook much faster than regular pasta).

Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

How to Make a Cheesy Parmesan Crouton

I love to serve chicken pastina soup with a cheesy parmesan crouton but you also can’t go wrong with a big hunk of crusty bread.

To make the crouton, cut up slices of crusty bread and drizzle with olive oil.

Toast them on each side using a hot griddle pan until slightly charred (you can also do this under a broiler).

Top each slice of toast with 1 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese and broil until melted, serve.

Making Pastina Soup in Advance

Pasta soups don’t store well because the pasta will swell by absorbing too much liquid and will turn mushy which isn’t nice to eat.

You can certainly make the chicken stock in advance and I totally recommend doing so and storing it in the freezer until you need it.

Make sure to only cook enough pasta to eat straight away.

A close up of a spoonful of pastina soup

Top Tips for Making Pastina Soup

  • Homemade chicken broth or stock will always be more nutritious and wholesome but you can use storebought just make sure to use the highest quality you can get your hands on. Ready made stock sold in containers/tubs/pouches tends to be much higher quality than a stock cube.
  • When following my recipe for homemade chicken broth make sure to use a cooked, leftover chicken.
  • You can use any type of pastina to make this soup it doesn’t have to be star-shaped. Look for tiny shapes made for soups and stews.
  • Pasta soup doesn’t store well because the pasta swells and turns mushy. Only cook enough pasta that you’re going to eat straight away.
  • You can store chicken broth or stock in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for months.

More Italian Soup Recipes You Might Like;

If you’ve tried this Pastina Soup or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
Print Pin
5 from 6 votes

Pastina Soup

Cosy and comforting Italian Pastina Soup made with homemade chicken broth and tiny pasta stars. This easy soup recipe is the perfect way to beat those winter blues, made with wholesome ingredients and served with a cheesy parmesan crouton!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
If making homemade broth 3 hours
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 - 6 servings
Calories 286kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups pastina pasta (210g)
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock (3 litres)

Homemade chicken broth

  • 1 cooked leftover chicken carcass skin and meat removed
  • 1 carrot , whole or cut in half
  • 1 celery , cut into 2 or 3
  • 1 onion , cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 rosemary sprigs or other herbs of choice

Instructions

To Make Homemade Chicken Broth

  • Remove as much cooked chicken meat and skin from the carcass as possible. Add the chicken carcass and any other chicken bones to a large, deep pot and add the vegetables and herbs (you don’t need to peel any vegetables.
  • Fill the pot with water until the chicken is covered then cover and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling uncover and reduce to a simmer. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface.
  • Simmer the stock (uncovered for 2-3 hours or longer (the longer you leave it the more concentrated the flavour will be but the less stock you’ll have as it will keep reducing.
  • Pass through a sieve or colander so you’re left with the homemade stock and discard the bones, vegetables and herbs.

To Make Pastina Soup

  • Bring 6 cups of chicken broth to a boil.
  • Add the pastina pasta and boil for 3-4 minutes or until al dente. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread or parmesan croutons.

Notes

  • Homemade chicken broth or stock will always be more nutritious and wholesome but you can use storebought just make sure to use the highest quality you can get your hands on. Ready made stock sold in containers/tubs/pouches tends to be much higher quality than a stock cube.
  • When following my recipe for homemade chicken broth make sure to use a cooked, leftover chicken.
  • You can use any type of pastina to make this soup it doesn't have to be star-shaped. Look for tiny shapes made for soups and stews.
  • Pasta soup doesn't store well because the pasta swells and turns mushy. Only cook enough pasta that you're going to eat straight away.
  • You can store chicken broth or stock in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for months.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2593IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

Newsletter

10 Comments

  • Reply
    Sara
    September 12, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    This sounds so good and comforting! I can’t wait to add it to my fall lineup.5 stars

  • Reply
    Beth
    September 12, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    I like chicken noodle soup but I love making homemade chicken noodle soup! I’m excited to try this jazzed up version and I’m sure my kiddos will love the star shaped noodles!5 stars

  • Reply
    Amy | The Cook Report
    September 12, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    This looks so comforting, I can’t wait to try it!5 stars

  • Reply
    Roxana
    September 12, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    That is such a delicious and flavorful soup. Love that pasta. Going to try it again.5 stars

  • Reply
    Kim
    September 12, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    My whole family loved this. It was so easy and turned out so delicious! Will definitely be making again!5 stars

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
    shares