This Italian Pastina Soup has the power to soothe your soul from the inside out! It’s crazy easy to make with a simple broth that feels like a warm hug in a bowl, and all ready in 25 minutes!
Nothing screams comfort food more than a bowl of Pastina Soup, also known in Italian as pastina in brodo. It’s one of my favorite lazy soups to make when you need a quick cozy winter dinner or even if you are feeling sick and can't be in the kitchen cooking for long. It's sure to make you feel instantly better and always hits the spot!
The best part is you only need a handful of basic ingredients and 25 minutes to make this delicious soup! Its healthy and nutritious and also kid friendly with hidden veggies. It's also vegan too so everyone can enjoy this classic Italian staple.
If you want an even simpler variation of pastina, you must also try my cheesy pastina recipe which is another favorite of mine.
The actual name Pastina translates in Italian to “little pasta”. The pastina are literally tiny pieces of pasta which come in so many different shapes and sizes. Living in Italy, I am spoiled for choice when it comes to pastina as the options are endless in the supermarket aisles.
I was first introduced to pastina from my Italian mother in law a few years ago. She made me a bowl when I was sick one day, and since then I haven't let go of it! I call it magic soup as I felt better straight away, which explains why it has a nickname of Italian penicillin. Its a longstanding Italian tradition that has been healing families for generations. All kids grow up eating this Italian soup making it a staple in all homes including mine 🙂
Table of Contents
Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick and easy: This easy pastina soup recipe comes together in less than 25 minutes and made with a handful of basic ingredients
- Healthy and nutritious: Its full of nutrients from the vegetables, broth and pastina pasta making this soup a wholesome dish
- Versatile: You can customize this soup to your liking by keeping it plant based, or adding your favorite protein such as chicken. You can also experiment and add different veggies
- Kid-friendly: The tiny cute pasta shapes make it a joy for kids, and the vegetables are hidden since they are blended into the broth
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pastina pasta is of course the main star of this soup. The tiny pasta shapes comes in so many different shapes and sizes. I've used stelline today which are shaped in little stars, but other popular shapes are acini di pepe, alphabet pasta and orzo (risoni). Feel free to use gluten free pasta if needed
- Brown onion adds a depth to the broth. You can also use white onion or shallots which are milder and a little sweeter
- Carrots add sweetness and earthiness along with a gorgeous color and warmth to the broth
- Celery is the third component to the sofrito ingredients, which brings a freshness to balance the flavors
- Garlic because why not right! Not only does it make it taste better, but it will also help you heal any sickness from the inside
- Bay leaf infuses the broth with a lovely aromatic essence. Also Nonna always taught us to add bay leafs to our soups and she is 100% always right!
- Vegetable broth / vegetable stock, is my preferred broth to use as the base of the soup. Always use an organic broth with minimal ingredients and low salt for more nutrition. You can also use chicken stock if you are not plant based or vegan. This will give it a chicken soup flavor and profile
- Optional garnish, I love garnishing my pastina soup with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano aka parmesan cheese for a little saltiness and umami flavor, but you can totally leave this out or use a plant based alternative to keep it fully vegan. Fresh herbs such as chopped parsley freshens it up, and don't skip a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil which brings it all together!
How to make Pastina Soup
- Chop onion, carrots, celery and garlic cloves (a rough chop will do the job)
- In a large pot, pour vegetable broth, add chopped ingredients and a bay leaf. Season, then place the lid on to simmer for 20 minutes over medium-high heat
- With a fork, check to see if the vegetables are cooked. Remove the bay leaf then strain out the vegetables with a colander
- Blend the vegetables with ½ cup of water until smooth
- Pour blended veggies into the pot and stir through, taste and season as needed
- Bring back to a boil, then add the pastina pasta
- Pastina usually takes about 5-6 minutes to cook. Stir the pastina every minute or so, to prevent sticking
- It’s ready! Serve with garnish of chopped parsley, parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- Pastina has a tendency to stick together, so ensure you stir the soup every minute or so to prevent any sticking, especially on the bottom of the pot
- Don't overcook the pastina as it can become mushy very quickly. It usually only takes 5-7 minutes to cook, so check the package instructions and keep your eye on it
- If you prefer a chunky soup, skip the blending step and enjoy your vegetables in small pieces
- I prefer to only add enough pastina to eat on the day as it can overcook when being reheated. If you’re wishing to make more soup for meal prep, you can then just cook the pastina pasta on the day you’re eating it
- Add a parmesan rind for extra flavor to the broth as it's being simmered. You then remove and discard it before blending the vegetables. I always keep the parmesan rinds in the fridge to add to soups and other dishes like my bolognese sauce and sugo recipe
Storage, Reheating and Freezing
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days
- Simply reheat the soup in a saucepan over medium heat with a splash of water, until it is heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave
- You can freeze pastina soup for up to 2-3 months. I would suggest to only freeze the soup and cook the pasta when you are ready to eat it. Allow the soup to cool completely then store in an airtight freezer-safe container
- When ready, allow the soup to thaw in the fridge overnight or place the container in a bowl of hot water in the sink. Bring the soup to a boil in a pot and cook the pastina pasta and enjoy!
Pastina translates in Italian to “little pasta”. They are very tiny pasta pieces that range in many different shapes and sizes, making it perfect for soup
Yes it sure is! My recipe is made with vegetable broth, blended vegetables and small pasta making it healthy, hearty and wholesome
Absolutely! Its best to make the broth then cook the pastina when you are ready to eat it
More Cozy Soups
- Tuscan White Bean Soup
- Pasta e Fagioli
- Veggie Noodle Soup
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup
- Shiitake and Dumpling Soup
- Zucchini Leek Soup
- Thai Red Curry Soup
More Italian Recipes
- Saffron Risotto
- No Knead Focaccia
- Spinach Lasagna
- Burrata Pasta
- Italian Hot Chocolate
- Broccoli Pasta
I love seeing your creations and remakes, so be sure to rate the recipe, comment and share your Italian Pastina Soup photo on Instagram so I can share the love!
Italian Pastina Soup (Simple Vegetable Soup in 25 Minutes)
- 1 cup pastina pasta (I’ve used stelline pastina shape)
- 1 brown onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery sticks
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 6 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Garnish (optional) - chopped parsley, grated parmesan cheese, drizzle of olive oil
- Roughly chop the onion, carrots, celery and garlic cloves (you don’t need to be too precise)
- Pour the vegetable broth in a large pot and add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf. Season well with salt and black pepper, then place the lid on and simmer for approximately 20 minutes over medium-high heat
- With a fork, check that the vegetables are cooked (they should be soft and tender). Then discard the bay leaf and strain out the vegetables through a slotted spoon or colander
- Add the cooked vegetables to a blender with ½ cup of water and blend until smooth
- Pour the blended vegetables back to the pot with the vegetable broth and stir through. Taste for seasoning
- Bring soup back to a boil, then add the pastina pasta. Ensure to stir the pastina every minute or so, to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom (pastina usually takes about 5-6 minutes to cook)Serve in bowls - optional garnish with chopped parsley, grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy your soothing Pastina Soup!