Meatless Monday Challenge

30-Minute Healing Pastina Soup

on September 18, 2023
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5 from 1 vote
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This Pastina Soup is a comforting and nourishing dish with tiny pasta cooked in broth enriched with a medley of blended vegetables.
Pastina Soup with a hearty vegetable broth and finished with Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper.

Looking for a cozy soup to warm your body and soul? This Pastina Soup with Blended Veggies is like a nutrient-dense, veggie-infused, delicious hug in a bowl!

This humble yet comforting dish has been a staple in my kitchen for years, offering a taste of tradition and a comforting embrace with every spoonful! It’s my go-to healing soup for whenever anyone in my family is sick.

Plus, this cozy vegetarian soup requires less than ten ingredients and comes together in just about 30 minutes!

This is also an amazing clean-out-the-fridge meal! It’s best to avoid vegetables in the Brassica family like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower as they may make your broth bitter, but any other veggies you have on hand can be added right to this soup!

Green tip: Use this soup as a clean out the fridge meal. Use up veggies in your fridge and blend them right into the soup. Just avoid broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower as they may make the soup bitter, all other veggies are fair game!

In this recipe, you’ll learn how to make a nutritious and tasty veggie-packed broth by blending the vegetables into a puree and adding it back to the broth. You’ll also learn about pastina and my best tips for serving and storing healing pastina soup!

Close up of Pastina soup finished with Parmigiano reggiano and fresh cracked black pepper.

As an environmental scientist, I’m always looking to reduce my consumption of ingredients that have a higher impact on our environment. This means I love creating meatless meals that are both flavorful and satisfying.

Green tip: Industrial meat production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your meat consumption is one great way to reduce your ecological footprint.

Vegetable Pastina Soup Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Vegetable broth. You can buy it at the store or make your own vegetable broth.
  • Carrots. Two large carrots will do!
  • Celery. Two stalks of celery is all you need.
  • Onion. One small yellow onion will do the trick. You can sub in a sweet onion, red onion, or even shallots if you have those on hand.
  • Garlic. Whole, peeled garlic cloves go a long way in this recipe. You’ll need four.
  • Pastina. Or Acini de Pepe. Even orzo or couscous will work here!
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper. These are my two favorite finishing touches for serving this soup, but both are completely optional.
ingredients for Pastina Soup - celery, Parmigiano Reggiano, pepper, garlic, yellow onion, vegetable broth, carrots, pastina

Veggie Pastina Soup Tips and Tricks


Bring Your Vegetable Broth to a Boil First

Start by adding your vegetable broth to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and bring it to a boil. This just speeds up the whole process!

Getting your broth going first gives you time to prep your veggies while that broth heats up.

Green tip: Organic farms rely on biodiversity to generate rich soil, avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which means no toxic runoff. Consider organic veggies if and when you can.

How to Prep Your Carrots for Soup

Veggie prep for this homemade veggie-packed soup is super simple. We will be pureeing the veggies so no need to dice or mince. We just want to make sure all of our vegetables are clean and an appropriate size to cook quickly.

Though your instincts may be to peel the carrots, there is no need to do so in the recipe. When we are making roasted carrots, recipes will often advise you to peel that carrots to get them nice and tender.

However, since we will be pureeing the vegetables, leave them on! The skins are packed with nutrients and when boiled and blended, will not have a tough texture.

Plus, using the most of our veggies and avoiding unnecessary scraps will help us reduce our kitchen waste!

Cutting the ends off of carrots to prep them for vegetable-based soup.
Start by washing and cutting off the ends of your carrots.
Large carrots cut in half ready to add to soup.
Then, simply cut them in half to reduce the cooking time.

How to Prep Your Celery for Pastina Soup

Similar to the carrots, we just want to clean up the celery to prep it for this cozy healing soup. Rinse it with water and cut off the leaves and the very tip of the opposite end of the stalk.

As you can see, the white part of my celery was starting to brown, so I chopped that off so I was left with a nice and clean piece of celery.

Once your celery is clean, chop it in half so that it cooks quickly in the boiling broth.

Cutting leaves and rough ends off of celery.
Wash your celery and cut off the leaves and cut off both ends.
Cleaned and prepped celery cut in half so it cooks quicker in boiling vegetable broth.
Chop the celery in half to reduce their cooking time.

How to Easily Peel Your Onion

Chop both ends of the onion off so you can easily stand it up on your chopping board.

Then, slice it in half. At this point, you should easily be able to peel off the outermost paper-thin layer. And there you have it, your onion is prepped!

As with your carrot and celery scraps, you can save the ends and peels of the onion in the freezer to make your own vegetable broth from veggie scraps.

Alternatively, you can compost the scraps!

Chopping ends off of an onion.
Start by chopping off both ends of the onion.
Halved onion with outer layer peeled off.
Then slice the onion and half and discard the outermost layer.

How to Easily Peel Your Garlic

The garlic can remain whole, but we do want to remove those paper-thin outer layers.

I find the easiest way to do so is by laying the garlic on my cutting board and using my bodyweight to push down on the garlic with the flat end of my knife.

This will crush the outer layer, breaking it apart and making it easier to peel. Once you remove those outer layers, your garlic is good to go!

Peeled garlic to add to a vegetable-based broth.
Crush your garlic with the flat end of your knife to crack the outer layer. Then, you can easily peel away and discard the outer layer.

Boil Your Vegetables in the Broth

Once your carrots, celery, onion, and garlic are prepped, carefully lower them into the boiling broth.

Cover and boil for 15 minutes to make the vegetables nice and tender and ready for blending into the puree.

Boiling carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in vegetable broth for pastina soup.
Boil the prepped veggies in the vegetable broth for 15 minutes until tender.

Blend Your Veggies for a Hearty Vegetable Broth

After 15 minutes, remove the boiled vegetables and add them to a high-powered blender or food processor. Use a heat-safe cup with a spout (a Pyrex measuring cup works great here!) or a ladle to add about 1/4 cup of the broth to the blender as well.

Keep your broth boiling while you blend your veggies on high until it is free from lumps and turns into a nice, smooth puree. This will take a good 2-3 minutes to achieve.

Then, add the puree back to the boiling veggie broth and stir to combine. This will create a super flavorful, hearty broth.

Removing boiled celery, carrots, onion, and garlic from boiling soup broth.
After 15 minutes, remove the vegetables from the boiling broth.
Adding broth to a blender with boiled vegetables to make a veggie puree.
Add the boiled veggies to a blender with about 1/4 cup broth.
Blending boiled vegetables with broth to make a hearty veggie puree.
Blend the vegetables and broth to form a veggie puree.
Adding boiled and pureed veggies to vegetable broth to make a heartier soup base.
Stir the puree back into the broth to make a hearty soup.

How to Cook Pastina in Broth

Now it’s time to add your pastina!

What is pastina? Well, it’s the smallest pasta that is produced! In this recipe, star-shaped pastina can be used, or you can use Acini di pepe, which are tiny little round pieces of pasta.

Both make for the perfect addition to this cozy homemade soup. Recently, I’ve found that Acini di pepe has been more widely available, affordable, and easy to find, so that’s what I used here!

Add the pastina or Acini di pepe to the broth, stir, and cover, and cook for 8 minutes. Give it a stir halfway through to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

After 8 minutes, assess the consistency. If you want to thin it out a little bit, you can add up to an extra 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.

Adding pastina to hearty vegetable broth.
Add the pastina to the boiling broth and cover, boiling for 8 minutes until al dente.

Serving Your Vegetable Pastina Soup

This Pastina Soup is absolutely delicious and filled with flavor as is! Still, my favorite way to serve this soup is finishing off the bowl with some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and some fresh cracked black pepper.

As for best accompaniments to this soup, here are some of my favorites:

Grating Parmigiano reggiano over top vegetable pastina soup.
Serve as is or with Parmigiano Reggiano and/or fresh cracked black pepper.

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Soup with Pastina

In an airtight container in the fridge, this soup with pastina will last for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

To reheat, you may want to add more vegetable broth. You’ll notice that the pastina will soak up even more broth as it sits in the fridge, and the ratio of broth to pastina for the leftovers may be off.

Reheat it in a pot on the stove over medium-high heat, covering and stirring occasionally until heated thoroughly. Alternatively, you can microwave the leftovers in a microwave-safe bowl and cover.

Microwave in two minute intervals, stirring in between until nice and hot all the way through.

Green tip: Of the billions of tons of food wasted annually, 50% of food waste happens at home. Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and consuming leftovers.

Pastina Soup Frequently Asked Questions


What kind of pasta is used for pastina?

Pastina is loosely translated as “small pasta”. There is a pasta shape that’s actually called pastina. It is the smallest pasta produced and is shaped like little stars. Still, you can often use pastina, Acini de pepe, orzo, and even couscous interchangeably.

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Why You Should Make this Cozy Pastina Soup with Blended Veggies


  • It’s hearty. The boil and blend technique with the vegetables makes for a uniquely hearty veggie-based broth.
  • It’s cozy. This healing soup is truly like a warm hug in a bowl.
  • It’s quick! This soup comes together in just about 30 minutes.

If you’re loving this Cozy Pastina Soup and want more warming soups, check out this Vegetarian French Onion Soup and Carrot Pumpkin Soup.

Pastina Soup with a hearty vegetable broth and finished with Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper.

30-Minute Healing Pastina Soup

5 from 1 vote
Marley Goldin
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This Pastina Soup is a comforting and nourishing dish featuring tiny pasta cooked in a flavorful, plant-based broth, enriched with a medley of blended fresh vegetables.
Prep Time 9 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 6 cups vegetable broth (*see notes )
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 large carrots
  • ½ pound pastina (or Acini de Pepe)
  • 2 ounces fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional for garnish)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (optional for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Meanwhile, clean all your veggies. Peel and half the onion, peel the garlic, and cut the ends off and half the celery stalks and carrots.
    Cleaned and halved carrots and celery and peeled onion and garlic on a chopping board.
  • Add the prepped vegetables to the boiling veggie broth. Cover and boil for 15 minutes.
    Carrots, celery, onion, and garlic boiling in vegetable broth.
  • Remove the vegetables and add them to a blender with about ¼ cup of the broth.
    Boiled carrots, celery, onion, and garlic pureed with vegetable broth in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth and add the puree back to the boiling broth. Stir to combine.
    Vegetable broth boiling with pureed vegetables.
  • Add the pastina, cover, and boil for an additional 8 minutes, stirring halfway between. After 8 minutes, assess the consistency. If you want to thin out the broth, you can add up to an extra half cup
    Pastina soup in a large pot.
  • Serve hot with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • * I recommend having an extra 1/2 cup or so of vegetable broth on hand just in case you want to thin out your soup after the pastina is cooked. 
  • Use this soup as a clean out the fridge meal! Use up veggies in your fridge and blend them right into the soup. Just avoid broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower as they may make the soup bitter, all other veggies are fair game!
  • It’s hard to beat a good bowl of soup! Check out my most delicious selection of hearty soup recipes!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Pastina, Pastina Soup, Soup, Vegetable Broth
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