Chicken Soup with Pasta and Spinach

A Grandmom Ricci recipe.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic about 1 clove
  • 3 14-ounce cans (Mom used one 48-ounce low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breast halves with or without bone and skin—your preference
  • 1-to 2- inch chunk Parmesan cheese preferably with rind attached, plus additional for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta or a handful of larger pasta such as penne or broken spaghetti
  • About 5 ounces of baby spinach


  • In a pot over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds (do not brown).
  • Add the broth, chicken, Parmesan chunk, salt, pepper and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size.
  • Remove chicken; set aside. Transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside to cool.
  • Remove and discard the chunk of cheese (the next time we try it, we may cut the cheese up into small pieces at this point and leave it in the soup to see how it tastes.)
  • Return the broth to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer until al dente, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Cut the chicken into thin strips or shred it and return it to the pot. Add the spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 1 minute.
  • Divide soup evenly among bowls and, if desired, sprinkle with shaved cheese.


Serves 4.