This soup is warm, cozy and comforting, and it’s exactly what I want to eat when I’m under the weather. Inspired by Italian minestrina, a simple soup of chicken broth and pasta, this one adds green peas and a bunch of delicious toppings to the mix. A squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh mint or parsley brighten up the broth, and the crispy shards of Prosciutto and grated Parmesan add a touch of sophistication that makes this feel like a grown-up version of a kids’ menu dish.
There’s very little hands-in cooking here, and the whole thing comes together in 40 minutes (most of which is the broth simmering!) This recipe also uses my favorite chicken broth hack. In a perfect world, we’d all be using homemade chicken broth or everything, but realistically I use store bought broth 95% of the time. My trick is to simmer 2 quart-sized cartons of low-sodium chicken broth in a pot with a Parmesan rind, until reduced by about half. The flavor of the broth gets concentrated and the Parmesan rind adds a savory complexity you just can’t get from a plain carton of broth. I use this trick whenever the flavor of the chicken broth is especially important in a recipe. In a split pea or chicken tortilla soup, you might not notice as much, but the quality of the broth makes a big difference in a simple soup like this one.
I hope you like this cozy soup as much as I do! And you remember, you don’t have to save it for times you aren’t feeling well! It also makes a nice lunch or light dinner when you want something simple and comforting, without a long ingredient list!
Feel Better Soup with Pasta, Peas and Prosciutto
- 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (2- to 3-inch) Parmesan rind
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1½ cups frozen peas
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Chopped fresh mint or parsley, for serving
- Black pepper, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour the chicken broth into a 10-inch Dutch oven or other large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the Parmesan rind, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until reduced by about half.
- Meanwhile, lay the slices of prosciutto on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until browned. Set aside until completely cool, then break into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- When the broth is reduced by half, remove and discard the Parmesan rind. Add the ditalini, along with the salt, and bring back to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
- Add the peas and cook for 2 more minutes, then season to taste with black pepper and more salt if needed (this will depend on the brand of chicken broth used.)
- To serve, ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Squeeze a lemon wedge over each bowl, then place the lemon wedge in the bowl as garnish or discard. Top each bowl with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a generous sprinkle of prosciutto shards. Top with coarsely chopped mint or parsley leaves and a few grinds of black pepper, and serve immediately.