Tomato and Harissa Pastina


  • Prep Time10 mins
  • Total Time35 mins
  • Makes4 servings
Tomato and Harissa Pastina

Produced by Chantal Braganza and Stephanie Han Kim; photography by Christie Vuong; food styling by Haley Polinsky; prop styling by Cailen Speers. Soft Pink Geometrics Linen Napkin,

While pastina is traditionally a soup for children, there’s no rule that says it can’t be made for adults. Blending aromatics into the broth gives it a bit of heft; harissa adds a deeply flavourful punch. For a quick home lunch, the broth can be made in advance; simply heat it up when you’re ready to cook the pasta. For an office lunch, pack the fresh spinach separately and stir it into the soup just before popping it in the microwave.—Chantal Braganza

  • 6 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 plum tomatoes

  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed

  • 1 parmesan rind or 1 tbsp white miso paste

  • 1/2 tbsp harissa paste

  • 1 cup pastina (stelline, orzo or any small-variety pasta)

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and torn in half

  • Olive oil, for garnish

  • Lime wedges (optional)


  • Combine broth with whole tomatoes, celery, garlic and parmesan rind in a pot set over medium-high. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer until celery is fork-tender, about 15 min. Reduce heat to low.

  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables and garlic to a blender, along with 1⁄2 cup hot broth and harissa paste. Discard cheese rind. Blend on high until liquefied. Pour liquid back into pot on stovetop. Stir to combine.

  • Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, then add pastina. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until pastina is al dente, 7 to 8 min. Turn off heat.

  • Stir in spinach until wilted. Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of oil and a squeeze of lime, if desired.

Kitchen tip

This broth will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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