Susan Badeau

There are only two lasting gifts we can give our children - one is roots, the other is wings


"You Want Some Soup?"

Posted by Sue Badeau on January 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM

There is just something about the power of homemade soup– don’t you agree?

While “chicken soup” is an almost universal symbol of comfort food, nearly every culture has their own version of a warm, comforting dish that expresses being loved and cared for – whether it is Pho, or Matzo Ball Soup, Egg Drop Soup or Oxtail soup, Borscht, Pea Soup, Posole or Clam Chowda (and yes, that IS spelled correctly!) grandmothers everywhere know that a steaming bowl of homemade soup can cure everything from the flu to a broken heart.

And the best soups are made without a recipe. Handed down from one generation to the next. Small children sitting on stools in the kitchen, watching – and “helping” - their Nanna, or Abuelita, Mamere or Tutu chop vegetables and toss in a “pinch” of salt or a “handful” of fresh peas.

Teenagers coming in the door and immediately being drawn to the kitchen by the seductive smell of simmering soup become more open to sharing about their day as they sample a fragrant spoonful.

Soup heals, brings people together and creates memories. One of my children’s favorite memories of their own “Mamere” is the question she asked every time they visited, “You want some soup?”

This week, I made my homemade pasta fagioli. From scratch and from memory. The way my grandmother and mother made it. Friends have asked for the recipe, so I did my best to write it down. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you’ll make your own soup-memories this winter! Please share your recipes - I am always looking for new ways to enjoy soup!

“It is better to eat soup with someone you love than steak with someone you hate.” Proverbs 15:15 (Living Bible)



Olive oil

OPTIONAL: Pancetta, Bacon, Salt Pork or a half pound of ground beef

1 onion, diced

About 10 mushrooms, sliced

2 stalks of celery diced – you can also dice a carrot or two

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes – or you can also use a can of Progresso Hearty Tomato soup

2 quarts homemade vegetable, beef or chicken stock or in a pinch you can use canned broth or in a real pinch you can use water and bouillon cubes

About half a cup of homemade (or in a pinch, canned) gravy or roux

1 15 ounce can cannellini beans 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans (Sometimes I substitute any other kind of beans, and sometimes I have leftover home-cooked beans instead of canned)

1 box frozen chopped spinach

1 box frozen baby peas

1 pound pasta – I usually use elbows but you can use any smallish pasta

Seasonings – oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper

Fresh grated parmesan cheese


1. In a large soup pot, IF using any of the meat options, brown up the meat. When it is about half done, add the garlic, onion, celery and mushrooms (and carrots if using) and sauté with the meat. Add olive oil as needed depending on how much fat is in the meat. If not using meat, just sauté the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and mushrooms in a little olive oil until onions are translucent and carrots are slightly softened

2. Add all of the other ingredients -  including seasonings -  except for the pasta, frozen veggies and parmesan cheese and simmer for up to 2 hours

3. 10-12 minutes before you want to serve, add the pasta and the frozen veggies (some people cook the pasta separately, but I don’t)

4. Dish out into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese and serve with homemade cheese biscuits or crusty Italian bread. YUM!

Categories: Building Bridges of Hope

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Reply Carolyn Knefely
2:53 PM on January 28, 2014 
As snow is drifting past my window, you sharing your homemade recipe warms my spirit.
Sharing comfort comes in so many ways. This recipe is one very special way.
Thank you, my friend.

Share on!
Reply Sue Badeau
2:58 PM on January 28, 2014 
Thanks Carolyn - Soup is nearly as good as tea for sharing friendship, fellowship and healing!
Reply Vonda Skelton
11:48 AM on January 30, 2014 
As I read this, there's the drip-drip-drip of melting snow gurgling in the gutters and a pot of homemade potato soup cooking in the crock pot. I love homemade soup any time of year, but especially when it's cold outside!

Can't wait to try this recipe!
Reply Barbara Evers
12:29 PM on January 30, 2014 
Can't wait to try this. Any suggestions for a mushroom substitute? I can't eat mushrooms.
Reply Sue Badeau
9:03 AM on January 31, 2014 
Vonda - Yum homemade potato soup! I have several recipes for that but haven't made any in a long time. One of my favorite is a Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Corn chowder, and the reason I love it so much is that the recipe comes from a dear friend and mentor and every time I eat it I think of Pam's love, friendship and hospitality. I think I will make some soon - thanks for the good reminder and memory!
Reply Sue Badeau
9:05 AM on January 31, 2014 
Barbara - Traditional pasta fagioli doesn't have mushrooms in it at all so you can just leave the mushrooms out and it will be fine. Also if you want you can substitute with almost any other vegetable. I have, in the past, added broccoli, cauliflower, diced zucchini or yellow squash . . . so you can experiment. I just happen to love mushrooms so I put them in almost anything! LOL Thanks for coming by and let me know how it turns out!
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