Nonna’s Homemade Chicken Soup

Chicken pastina soup was the meal my mom would make when it started to get cold or whenever someone in the family was sick. While it didn’t cure the common cold, it was one of my favorite meals to eat on a chilly night. It’s a meal that my entire family looked forward to and when my mom would cook it, the smell of chicken broth filled up the house. I can still picture all of us sitting around the kitchen table enjoying every spoonful of chicken, pastina, potatoes and carrots. Just the best!



What makes the soup even more special is that it’s my nonna’s recipe and it was brought down to my mom and aunts, and now to me. The first time I made this soup was when Brett and I first got married. I called my nonna and she told me everything I needed to buy and how to make the soup step by step. There’s something about a favorite family recipe that pulls at your heart strings – you can’t help but feel good inside while cooking. I remember being so excited tasting that first bite.



This chicken soup is hearty, yet light, the chicken gives the soup so much flavor and the pasta gives it texture. The potato, celery and carrot contribute heartiness to the dish and the Parmesan adds a nice salty bite.


Making this family classic always reminds me how blessed I was to grow up with the most scrumptious food. If you end up making it, don’t forget to tag your photos with #marinamakeseats!

Nonna’s Homemade Chicken Soup


  • 1 small whole chicken or cornish hen
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 small russet potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 7 cups of water
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 cups of dried pasta (I use ditalini or pipe rigate which is pictured above)
  • Parmesan cheese


Place the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, parsley, water, about a half tablespoon of salt and pepper into a dutch oven and cover with lid. Cook on medium heat for about an hour and 15 minutes.

About ten minutes before the broth is finished cooking, boil a separate pot of water. Cook pasta until a couple minutes before the instructed time. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the dutch oven. Shred the chicken and place about half of it into the soup. Add the drained pasta to the dutch oven and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. You will likely need more salt!

Ladle soup into bowls and top with additional parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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