When it’s cold and gray outside a bowl of chicken rosa marina soup really hits the spot. Chicken, carrots, spinach, tomatoes and pasta make this hearty and flavorful. It is absolutely satisfying, nutritious and low calorie all at the same time.
We just had our first snow of the season and we are only a few days past the holidays so we were craving something comforting, somewhat healthy and easy to make. This soup fit the bill perfectly. It is loaded with chicken and vegetables making it hearty without adding a lot of extra fat or calories. The pasta makes it a meal!
What is Rosa Marina?
Rosa Marina is another name for “orzo” or “risoni”. It is a small rice shaped pasta that goes well in soups, sauces or salads. It works especially well in broth based soups such as this. Growing up my mother often served us rosa marina in chicken soup or “brodo”. If you are looking for a pasta perfect for children this is it.
Tips for making this Chicken Rosa Marina Soup recipe:
Use chicken stock or broth as your base. I like to use a low sodium option so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
Make sure the vegetables are cut to a similar size so that they cook evenly.
Cook the pasta separately, then drain it and add the soup to the pasta when you serve it. Pasta continues to absorb water/broth the longer it sits in it. If you cook the pasta in the soup it will become engorged and soak up most if not all of the broth if not eaten right away.
To keep this from happening, store the pasta separate from the rest of the soup. Then just add it to the soup bowl when you are serving it. This way it will be perfect every time!
Use Fire Roasted Tomatoes in the soup to give it a lovely sweet smoky flavor.
Variations of this recipe for specific dietary needs
Sometimes you need to accommodate different dietary needs with one meal. This recipe can help make that task easy for you! Here are some simple adjustments that will help please all of your special diet concerns.
Gluten free: Use a gluten free pasta or leave the pasta out all together for a delicious chicken vegetable soup.
Dairy Free: This recipe is naturally dairy free as written and without the addition of any grated cheese on top.
Vegetarian/Vegan: Eliminate the chicken and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock for a hearty vegetable soup.
Low Carb: Serve without the pasta for a low carb friendly meal.
Low Calorie: This recipe is under 300 calories per 1 1/2 cup serving. It is filling and delicious so you can enjoy this soup even if you are counting calories.
Here are some recipes that will create a complete meal:
Other easy dinner ideas
Italian Chicken Rosa Marina Soup with Spinach and Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- ¾ cup Onion diced
- 1½ cups Carrots sliced thin
- 4 cups Chicken Stock
- 28 oz. Tomatoes in juice or puree, diced
- 2½ cups Chicken cooked, diced
- 10 oz. Spinach fresh or frozen
- 1 tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Thyme dried
- 1 tsp Basil dried
- 1 cup Rosa marina pasta uncooked
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add the onions, garlic and carrots to the oil and saute until the onions are tender. About 2 minutes.
- Add the salt, pepper, thyme and basil to the vegetables and stir to combine. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat to medium low and continue to cook at a slow boil for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the chicken and spinach. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring small pan of water to a boil. Add the Rosa marina and cook according to the package instructions.
- Drain the pasta and add divide evenly into serving bowls. Ladle the soup over the pasta and serve.