Italian soups are pretty much ignored outside of Italy. While we are very familiar with all sorts of pasta dishes, the breads of Italy and some vegetable dishes, few soups besides minestrone have gained traction.
Today this is a very simple soup – one made with tiny pasta and broth. Gentle, Wintery and flavoursome, it can be made with a dark broth or one with a tomato base.
Tiny Pasta in Broth
1.2 litres stock (see notes below)
0.75 cup small soup pasta (pastini pasta) – tiny shells or small rounds of pasta like stellette, anelli, tiny orzo, acini de pepe or ditalini
1 small red or green pepper (fresh or roasted)
sea salt and pepper
squeeze lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
grated parmesan, or parmesan shards
make the stock
It can be a tomato based stock, or, as I have used here, a stock based on dried mushrooms. I used some water left from cooking brown lentils and water left from soaking porcini. Or base the stock on pureed tomatoes, Passata or home made tomato paste. It’s Ok to use stock cubes if you need to. I simmer the base with bay leaves, juniper berries, black cardamom and black pepper. It makes the most excellent meaty broth.
Simmer the pasta in the stock for the time it suggests on the package plus about 3 – 4 minutes more.
Meanwhile, remove the top, seeds and membrane of the capsicum and dice finely.
When the pasta is cooked, season well, add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with parmesan.
recipe notes and alternatives
Peas can be used in place of capsicum.