Pastina Chicken Soup with Kale

Healthy Italian-American comfort food made easy: chicken soup with pastina and greens.

  • Author: by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD
  • Yield: 6-8 servings. 1x


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 3 cups packed chopped kale (ribs removed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breasts and/or thighs
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) uncooked acini de pepe (pastina)
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots and kale. Saute (stirrng often) for about 5 minutes or until kale is wilted. Stir in salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Turn to medium low, cover with lid and simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken onto cutting board and cool for 10-15 minutes. Shred with forks.
  3. While chicken is cooling, bring broth back to a boil. Add pastina and reduce to medium heat. Stir occasionally (especially at beginning of process as pastina will stick to bottom of pan) and cook until pastina is cooked, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add shredded chicken and heat for another 5 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.