This Italian Soup is about to become your favorite anything to eat in a bowl!
This Italian Soup tastes better than any restaurant at a fraction of the cost! It is super easy, seasoned to perfection and bursting with tender chicken, tomatoes, carrots, celery and pasta shells enveloped by creamy Parmesan basil broth.
This Italian Soup is one of my favorite soups ever. It was inspired by the ingredients and flavor profile of my Tomato Basil Soup which is pureed and mega creamy and to-live-for (another must try).
In this Italian Soup version, we get all the same wonderful flavors and creaminess but I’ve left the vegetables whole for a fabulous hearty texture.
This beloved Italian Soup is swimming with tender chicken, sauteed onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers and small macaroni seasoned with bay leaves, garlic, parsley, oregano, cumin and of course plenty of fresh basil.
The Italian soup is delish left alone in this seasoned broth, but for over-the-top deliciousness – as in better than any restaurant – stir in Parmesan cheese and either heavy cream or half/half, and you won’t be able to stop after two bowls – you won’t even be tempted.
WHAT SPICES For Italian Soup?
- ground cumin
- red pepper flakes
- bay leaf
This Italian Soup boasts a custom blend of Italian seasonings. I used a combination of dried herbs and fresh herbs for the parsley and basil.
You can use dried parsley and dried basil if you prefer, but fresh is so much better and proper for Italian Soup! If you want to substitute dried herbs, the general rule is 3:1 (fresh to dried).
I have also added 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes which enlivens the the Italian Soup. It does not make the soup spicy, but does add a kick. If you know you are sensitive to spice, then start with a pinch and add more to taste.
What Chicken is Best?
For this Italian Soup Recipe, I wanted melt-in-your-mouth tender chicken bites instead of shredded chicken, however, you can choose what works best for you:
- Chicken Breasts: I always have chicken breasts on hand so this is what I used. They emerge wonderfully in this Italian Soup – just don’t overcook!
- Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs are inherently juicer than chicken breasts and hard to overcook, so if they’re your thing, they will work great! .
- Rotisserie Chicken: You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken. You will will need about about 2 1/2 cups – but you can always add more or less to taste. Add the chicken to the Italian Soup at the end, just so it can warm through.
What CAN I PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME?
This Italian Soup is very simple but it does require some chopping. To save time and make dinner come tougher in a flash, chop your onions, garlic, carrots, celery and bell pepper ahead of time. Store pre-cut veggies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You can also chop your chicken ahead of time and store in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator.
How to Make Italian Soup
STEP ONE: PASTA
STEP TWO: CHICKEN
STEP THREE: VEGETABLES
STEP FOUR: FLOUR
STEP FIVE: BROTH
STEP SIX: SIMMER
STEP SEVEN: Make Creamy!
HOW DO YOU THICKEN Italian Soup?
This Italian Soup should already be rich due to the flour and the half and half or heavy cream. If you choose to use half an half, your soup will still be delicious but not quite as thick and creamy because it has less fat – and the higher the fat content, the creamer the soup.
If you would like to thicken the Italian Soup, you can either:
- Cornstarch: Remove some broth from the Italian Soup and whisk in 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch with a fork until smooth then whisk it back into the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Repeat if desired.
- Flour and butter: Mix equal parts flour and softened butter together with a fork so it becomes a thick paste and almost forms a ball. You will want 2-4 tablespoons each, depending on how thick you want the soup. Stir it into the soup and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Repeat if desired.
- Can I use different vegetables? This Italian Soup is made with carrots, celery, and bell peppers, but feel free to mix it up with your favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand. Green Beans, zucchini, spinach, corn, etc. would all be fabulous.
- Can I make Italian Soup with Sausage? This Italian Soup is SO good, you are going to want to make it with every protein! You can swap the chicken out for ground or linked Italian sausage, lean ground beef, ground turkey, mini meatballs and even salmon!
- Can I half this recipe? Absolutely! You can scale this Italian Soup recipe down if you don’t have a large family and don’t want leftovers. If you do love leftovers (raising my hand high), then you will love leftover Italian Soup for an easy lunch or dinner!
- Can I use rice instead of pasta? Yes! You can substitute long grain white rice but I wouldn’t use brown or wild rice unless you cook it separately and then add it to the soup. Long-grain white rice will take 8-12 minutes to simmer in the Italian Soup.
- Can I make this Italian Soup gluten free? Yes! If you want to make gluten free Italian Soup, then use gluten-free flour and gluten – free pasta, or swap the pasta for rice.
- Can I make this Italian Soup vegetarian? Yes! Use vegetable broth instead of chicken and omit the chicken. You will want to add additional vegetables in place of the chicken.
- Consistency: The “chunkiness” of this Italian Soup is totally your choice! For a less chunky soup, simply add additional broth or half and half/cream at the end of cooking.
- Can I Make Italian Soup Ahead of Time? Yes! The flavors are even better the next day. Just take care you cook your pasta al-dente initially. If you aren’t serving the pasta until the next day, then keep the pasta separate then add it to the soup when reheating.
What to Serve with Italian Soup?
This Italian Soup is a meal-in-itself but I love serving it with big chunk of crusty bread, dinner rolls, breadsticks, or Pull Apart Cheesy Pesto Bread along with big green salad, or wedge salad and fruit salad.
HOW LONG IS ITALIAN SOUP GOOD FOR?
Italian Soup should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator. When properly stored, it is good for 3-5 days.
HOW DO I REHEAT ITALIAN SOUP?
- Stove: You can reheat large batches of Italian Soup on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until warm. You will need to add some additional broth or half and half/cream to the soup because some of the pasta will absorb it while sitting overnight.
- Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, you can use the microwave. Transfer soup to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed. Stir in additional broth, half and half or cream to reach desired consistency.
Can I freeze Italian Soup?
I do not recommend freezing this Italian Soup because it has dairy in the form of half and half or heavy cream and Parmesan. When dairy is frozen, the fat separates creating a funny, unappetizing texture and it will often curdle. Pasta also does not freeze well and becomes mushy when defrosted. So, I guess you’ve got the pleasant task of consuming this Italian Soup within 5 days!
LOOKING FOR MORE ITALIAN RECIPES?
- Italian Vegetable Soup
- Zuppa Toscana
- Lasagna Soup
- Easy Baked Risotto
- Marinara Sauce
- World’s Best Lasagna
- Fettuccine Alfredo
- Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
- Million Dollar Mac and Cheese
- Spaghetti Bolognese
Want to try this Italian Soup Recipe?
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