Being born in the 1980s, I was a 90s child who enjoyed all of the trappings of that decade, including hours upon hours of Nickelodeon after school, yards of Froot by the Foot,  and subsisting on Campbell’s condensed soups. One of my favorites was Chicken and Stars, and was also one of the only ways I would even consider eating celery- chopped up into miniscule pieces and hidden amongst tens of thousands of tiny pasta stars.

Since going vegetarian at the age of 11 (that’s 16 years ago, for some perspective) I’ve been without Campbell’s Chicken & Stars, but with my samples of Chick’n bouillion from Edward & Sons, and the recent discovery of pastina at my local Publix, I’ve been working on perfecting a recipe.

Vegetarian Chick’n & Stars (For The Childlike Spirit Within You)


Makes 4 servings, or feeds two hungry adults)


  1. Add a teaspoon (or two if using a lot of vegetables) of oil to a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Saute the vegetables and garlic until soft, about five minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and water and bring the soup up to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add the bouillion cubes, then the pastina. Stir, and reduce heat to a simmer.
  5. Simmer the soup for six minutes, and meanwhile heat up a teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the Gardein Chick’n strips and saute until browned on all sides, about five minutes.
  6. Remove soup from heat when done, and also the chick’n strips.
  7. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the chopped chick’n pieces.

Note: If you have leftovers and put it in the fridge, you may need to re-hydrate the soup with a bit of water before heating. The pasta absorbs the extra water in the container as it sits. This does not affect the taste in a bad way, in fact I think it’s better after a spin in the fridge!

Doesn’t that just bring back memories of being in elementary school and watching the Price is Right on a day when you had the sniffles? To put that into a more common adult situation, it feels just as great to cure your hangover when you wake up Sunday morning and want something comforting and not too complex in your belly. Not that we here know about hangovers… no sirreeee.