Italian pastina soup, known on TikTok as “Italian Penicillin Soup,” featuring pastina, captures hearts with its light, easy-to-digest broth, making it a go-to for dreary weather.
Why is this called Italian Penicillin Soup?
Italian Penicillin Soup is a nickname given to traditional Italian soups similar to this one, often made with simple, wholesome ingredients like broth, pasta, and vegetables.
People believe these kinds of soups can help you feel better when you’re sick, thanks to their warm broth and easy-to-digest ingredients.
We tested this recipe from TikTok by creator @thecookingmawma – see the entire video below:
“Italian Penicillin” or Pastina to us, was a staple in our house growing up when we were under the weather. Mom and Nonna made it for us and I swear within a day we were feeling better😂 they had all the tricks and old wives tales to fix everything. The key here for me is to buy fresh, organic produce so the babies get the best nutrients possible without any added preservatives, etc. 4c organic chicken or veggie broth 6c water 3 celery stalks, cut in half 3 carrot stalks, peeled and cut in half 6 garlic cloves, whole 1 whole onion, yellow or white 1tsp salt 1tbsp chicken bouillon (optional) Pastina, orzo, Ditalini pasta of your choice Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese In a stock pot, combine water and chicken broth. Add all vegetables and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, bring heat to medium low and cover partially and cook for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, with a slotted spoon, remove veggies from broth and place in blender with 2 full ladles of broth and chicken bouillon. Blend and add back to broth. Cook your favorite pasta and pour broth mix over. Sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy! #italianpenicillin #pastina #chickensoup #fluremedy #veggiesoup #thecookingmawma #fyp♬ Che La Luna – Louis Prima
Where to purchase Pastina Pasta.
Star pasta can be hard to find in local stores because of how specialized it is, but its relatively cheap online. We purchased ours from Amazon here.
It was also used in the “chicken and stars” canned soup recipe, which many are fond of from childhood.
Pastina is a type of tiny, star-shaped pasta that’s often used in Italian soups and broths.
Pastina Soup Recipe
- Celery stalks (tops removed, cut in half)
- Baby carrots
- Whole onion
- Garlic cloves
- Vegetable broth
- Bouillon cubes
- Pastina pasta (cooked and kept warm)
- Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional for serving)
How to make Italian Pastina Soup
Prepare the base: In a large stock pot, combine three celery stalks, 2 cups baby carrots, one whole onion, and six garlic cloves.
Add Liquids and Season: Pour 4 cups of vegetable broth and 6 cups of water. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and add two bouillon cubes.
Cook the Soup: Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
Blend the Vegetables: After cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic from the pot and transfer them to a blender.
Add 2 cups of broth from the pot to the blender with the vegetables and blend until smooth.
Combine and Serve: Pour the blended vegetable mixture back into the stock pot and stir well to combine.
To serve, spoon some cooked pastina pasta into a bowl, ladle the broth over the pasta, and optionally top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Additional Cooking Tips:
- Pasta Draining: To minimize loss, use a colander with small holes to drain the pastina pasta.
- Serving Size: This recipe makes a generous 10 cups of soup, perfect for sharing or enjoying leftovers.
- Add Protein: Add cooked and shredded chicken to turn this into “chicken and stars” soup.
Extra Seasoning Options
- While this soup is intentionally lightly seasoned, making it perfect for sensitive palates or when someone isn’t feeling well, you can easily adjust the flavor to suit your tastes.
To enhance the flavor:
- Herbs: Add a bay leaf during the simmering process or stir in some fresh parsley, thyme, or basil at the end for a fresh flavor boost.
- Spices: A pinch of red pepper flakes, black pepper, or a dash of paprika can add warmth without overwhelming.
- Acidity: Fresh lemon juice or a splash of white wine can brighten the soup’s flavors.
- Umami: A dash of soy or Worcestershire sauce can deepen the overall taste.
This comforting soup pairs beautifully with various sides, making it a versatile choice for any meal.
- Bread: Serve with garlic parmesan bread, cheese stuffed bread balls, or puffy breadsticks for dipping and soaking up the delicious broth.
- Salad: A light, crisp salad with a vinaigrette dressing can complement the soup’s simplicity and add a fresh element to your meal.
- Sandwiches: Grilled cheese sandwiches or paninis are perfect for a fuller meal.
Italian Pastina Soup “Viral Italian Penicillin”
- Blender or Food Processor
- Large stock pot
- Slotted Spoons
- 3 stalks celery tops removed and cut in half
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 1 whole onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 bouillon cubes
- 12 oz. pastina pasta cooked and kept warm
- shredded parmesan cheese optional for serving
Prepare the Soup Base:
- In a large stock pot, add 3 stalks of celery (tops removed and halved), 2 cups of baby carrots, 1 whole onion, and 6 cloves of garlic.
- Add 4 cups of vegetable broth, 6 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 bouillon cubes to the pot.
- Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
Blend the Vegetables:
- After the mixture has simmered for 45 minutes, remove the pot from heat. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic, and place them into a blender.
- Spoon about 2 cups of broth from the pot into the blender with the vegetables.
- Process the mixture in the blender or food processor until it becomes smooth.
Combine and Serve:
- Pour the smooth vegetable mixture back into the stock pot. Stir well to ensure the mixture is evenly combined with the remaining broth.
- To serve, spoon some cooked pastina pasta into a bowl. The pasta should be from 1 box (12 oz) that has been previously cooked and kept warm.
- Ladle the hot vegetable broth over the pasta in the bowl. If desired, top with shredded Parmesan cheese for an extra touch of flavor.
- Use a fine-mesh strainer when draining your pastina pasta to prevent the small pieces from slipping through the holes.
- Enhance the soup’s flavor by adding a pinch of your favorite herbs, extra bouillon cubes, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving.
- To ensure even distribution and prevent the pasta from sinking to the bottom, ladle the soup over the pasta in individual serving bowls.
Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.