Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Bowl Full of Stars

My little big man had his first day of Pre-K this week. School rocked, according to my 4-year-old's report. From bus rides to circle time to singing with his friends, he loved the whole shabang. Yay!

Ironically, my usually very hungry fella barely ate anything at all upon coming home. But he did request that I cook up one of his favorite soups: Star Soup with Carrots and Peas. And he asked for extra peas. Weird. Who likes peas?

The 95-degree temp and insane humidity taking place upon my little scholar's arrival home did not seem to deter his hankering for soup. I guess a kid needs his comfort food on the first day of school. Especially after an epic meltdown involving a Lego masterpiece that slipped out of his paws in mid construction. Take a deep breath, Babydoll.

This is a great soup to make because I always have all the ingredients on hand: Frozen peas, fresh carrots, celery, shallots, some cheese and of course pastina. If you don't have fresh thyme, dried works just fine. And it's fast. And it's super yummy. The lemon zest is a nice touch. I so forgot to add it this time, Go, Mom! Haha.

Pastina Soup
By Giada DeLaurentiis

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
2 shallots, minced
3 sprigs thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (2 inch) piece of Parmesan rind
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/4 cup little star pasta
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest, from one large lemon (optional)

Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, celery, carrot, and shallots and cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the sprigs of thyme, Parmesan rind, chicken broth, and water.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and stir with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking to the pan.

Return to a simmer and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes longer or until the pasta is cooked and the liquid is slightly thickened. Remove the thyme sprigs and Parmesan rind. Stir in the peas.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with grated cheese and lemon zest if desired.

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