Spinach and Vegetable Soup with Pastina

This soup pairs lots of incredibly healthy organic spinach with the little pasta stars of my childhood in a delicious soup that’s on the table in about an hour. And for an extra treat and added nourishment, beat 3 eggs with about ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and stir it into the soup during the last minute of cooking. Either way, it’s a wonderful soup, my “go-to” soup for comfort.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons organic butter, buttery spread, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, including any juices
  • 2 pounds organic baby spinach, rinsed and drained
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 quarts water
  • cups uncooked pastina (tiny star pasta)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Melt the butter or buttery spread (or heat the olive oil) in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, carrots, onion, and tomatoes with their juices. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until the vegetables soften a bit.
  2. Add the spinach, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Using two wooden spoons, toss to coat with the liquids. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the spinach is wilted and has released most of its liquids.
  3. Stir in the water and raise the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When it reaches a boil, after about 10 minutes, reduce the heat to low-medium and cook at a low-medium boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until a flavorful broth is achieved. Add the pastina into the boiling soup, stirring well to combine. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes until the pastina is tender and the soup has thickened a bit.
  4. Taste for seasonings. Serve with additional black pepper and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese on top, if desired.

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