A comforting soup for the ill posted by @AvocadoLove - that is also great for young children! When I cook for my toddler, I like to make a big batch and freeze small portions in ice cube trays with lids. I move the frozen cubes out into a labeled ziplock freezer bag, then thaw a couple of cubes as needed. Homemade food that's also quick!
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1.5 cups diced white onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots, peeled)
1 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks celery, stems removed)
1 clove garlic, minced
8 cups good-quality chicken stock (*you may need 1 or 2 cups more, see below)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup dried stelline (star-shaped pasta)
optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock, chicken, bay leaves, rosemary, salt, thyme, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium and stir in the stelline. Continue cooking the soup over a simmer until the stelline reach al dente and are soft yet still slightly chewy, stirring occasionally so that the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper or herbs, if needed.
Serve immediately, with optional garnish if desired.
*The longer this soup sits, the more the pasta will continue to soak up the broth. So if you let it continue to sit and cook after the pasta reaches al dente, you may need to add in more chicken broth to thin the soup out, and add a little more salt, pepper and herbs accordingly.