Recipe Redux: Carrabba’s Copycat – Mama Mandola’s Chicken Soup


There are some recipes in which I never deviate and then there are others that as I make them a few times, such as this soup, I modify and adjust just enough that it warrants an update to the recipe.


  • 3 tbsps. butter
  • 5 celery ribs, chopped small, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 3 big carrots, peeled & sliced, approximately 2 cups
  • 3 medium size russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I used white)
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tbsps. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed & deboned, shredded in large chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes, do not drain liquid (I used fire roasted)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ditalini pasta, cooked in boiling water for 6 minutes, less than al dente*
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsps. (or more, as needed) each of Litehouse poultry seasoning, oregano & basil



In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium-hi heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic. Season with 1 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt, stir to incorporate, cover, and saute for 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.

Add the 10 cups of water, stir in the chicken base, add the can of tomatoes and included liquid, and stir in the white pepper, bay leaf, basil, oregano, poultry seasoning, thyme, and shredded chicken. In a separate small pot, cook the pasta in boiling water for 6 minutes. It is less than al dente, but will continue to cook in the soup, and often expands the longer it sits in the soup. Drain and add to the soup.  Season with extra Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, per taste.

Note: This makes a lot of soup! It’s perfect for a party or to take to a potluck or if you don’t mind having soup for days. Add some freshly grated parmesan cheese just prior to serving, if desired.






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