Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicken Soup with Pastina & Arugula

You are probably scratching your head wondering, "What's up with the soup, when it's a well known fact that you were whooping it up in San Francisco this weekend at the Foodbuzz Festival".  Yes all the rumors I started on Twitter are true and I was there and I was whooping it up.  Maybe just a tad too much, I came home with a nasty cold.  I shouldn't be so ridiculous, there is no such thing as too much fun. 

Hopefully you will accept my offer of a bowl of delicious homemade soup and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.  While I curl up under a blanket and nurse my hangover cold.

Chicken Soup with Pastina and Arugula
(1) 4-5 pound whole chicken
2 whole carrots, peeled
2 stalks celery
1 tbsp. salt
8 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
8 ounces dried pastina
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
1 cup arugula
Sourdough baguette

1)  Make soup stock:

Clean out anything from the inside of the chicken (oh you know what I'm talking about, don't make me get graphic) and trim off any excess fat.  Place the chicken in an 8 quart stock pot and add enough cold water to cover the chicken by 2-3 inches.  

Add the carrots, celery stalks, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme sprigs to the pot.  Bring soup to a boil, cover and then turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes.

For the record:
You can use pre-made stock and I won't bore you with my 6,000 word lecture about the merits of making stock from scratch.  Just do me one favor and read the ingredients list, some of them don't even contain chicken, are you kidding me?

2)  Shred chicken:

Remove the chicken from the stock and remove any fat and shred the meat into a bowl.  Discard any bones. Set aside.

3)  Strain stock:

Place a piece of cheese cloth in a strainer and pour the stock over it and into another clean pot or a large bowl.  Discard the vegetables and return the stock to the pot and bring to a boil.  Skim any fat off the surface.

4)  Add vegetables and cook pasta:

Add the chopped carrots and celery to the stockpot and let cook for 10 minutes.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil with a little bit of salt.  Add the pastina to the boiling water and let cook for 7 minutes.  Drain and add the pastina to the stock pot.

Add the zucchini and cook 5 minutes longer.

5)  Serve:

Serve the soup with a little bit of arugula added at the end.  Season with a little additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  A sprinkle of Five Spice powder is really good too.

I choose to add the arugula for a little peppery punch and to add a little extra vitamins to help that cold along (wink, wink).

I charred sourdough crostini to serve on the side and I just love floating them in my soup instead of crackers.

Cook Time:  2 hours
Serves:  8

Hopefully this soup can fix anything that ails you; I feel the vitamins starting to work already and will give you the Festival rundown as soon as I can!




  1. Love your addition of arugula to soup- it adds such brightness! So good to hang out with you this weekend. It reminded me of life pre-Baby Loves Lunch :)

  2. I how you will give us an update about your Foodbuzz experience. Love this kind of soup; it is freezing and it is cold where I live.

  3. Very cute soup using the pastina! :) I agree that the arugula sounds like a great addition!

  4. My mom used to make me chicken soup with pastina whenever it was sick. Such a comfort food. We used to call the little star pastina stelline. So sorry to hear you're not feeling well! Hope you're better soon.

  5. This soup looks good for helping a cold. But I am so glad you had a good time at Fbuz fest!

  6. Gina-
    Sorry that you came back with a cold? but I'm not sorry that you made this soup. You know what they say that chicken soup can cure what ails you, no matter what the ailment is. I can wait a little while to hear about your adventures at the Festival.

    We could have snow flurries tonight, so I need some of this wonderful soup now.

  7. Sorry to hear that Gina. Hope your wonderful soup has healed you and we can see each other soon.
    I also haven't managed to post about the festival yet. Too many pictures to choose from.:-)
    Hope you get well soon and looking forward to seeing you.

  8. Hi Gina, soup looks yummm also good for if u like lite food and the bread also look great with grilled mark. Must try with veg stock.

  9. Soul food ;-)) Hope it helps you kill the cold.

    Stay warm!


  10. This looks the perfect soup to nurse a cold and whatever else ;-) You're weekend at the Foodbuzz festival must have been amazing and looking forward to hearing about it, lucky girl! Look after yourself and keep taking the medicine ;-)

  11. The soup looks warm and comforting! Hope you feel better soon. Glad to hear you had a good time at the Foodbuzz Festival.

  12. You have a beautiful soup there and a glass of fresh squeezed oj sounds perfect right now. I'm glad you whooped it up! It sounds like you all had an incredible time.

  13. Gina-
    Congrats on the Top 9 today!

  14. Glad you had a good t ime in SF how cool. LOve the addition of arugula to the soup, spice it up some to help with your cold. Very nice hope that you are feeling better.

  15. Congrats on the Top 9 Gina! I love the pastina in your soup! Hope you're feeling better :)

  16. Love this soup, Gina - it looks so comforting! Cheers!! :)

  17. I need that bowl of soup today for the same reason (s). To think I could have been whooping it up with you! But, hey, we're in the Top 9 together! Your soup and my muffins make a perfect meal :)

  18. If a chicken soup can be called pretty, this is it! Very beautiful soup!

  19. Thanks everyone, what a nice surprise today! Yes Priscilla, I need your muffins for my soup, I think they would make such a cute couple.

  20. Happy Top 9 Gina. This soup is very seasonal especially for those of us who are a bit under the weather.;-)
    It was fantastic seeing you. xoxo.

  21. Hi Gina, Sorry I thought I had left you a comment already? Anyways, Congratulations on the Foodbuzz top 9 today!! It was so great to be in your company:) This soup is making me hungry. What a perfect cure for a cold, wink-wink. Arugula is a favorite but never thought to add it to soup, will do so next time. Have a great weekend!

  22. I am currently addicted to arugula! I simply can't get enough of it and soup is one avenue that I have not put it in. Sold!!