Aunt Susie’s Sexy Soulful Soups

Lately I have been in a winter slump.  A recent death close to me, and my impending 50th Birthday has me feeling a bit ambivalent and reflective.  When I get this way I run into my kitchen and lose myself in my creativity..that would be cooking.  Soup is one of those things early on I loved making for my children.  They seemed to be in awe of the way all the colors and noodles seemed to marry in a symphony of yummy warm goodness.  One of the first things I made for my babies was what every Italian infant has growing up Italian. Pastina and broth. Or “baahst” as my Dad would call it!   My kids loved this.  As they got a bit older I introduced them to my favs, Pasta Fagioli (Fazool) and Italian Wedding Soup, which is similar to my Dad’s signature soup, Escerole and Beans, or as we called it Scerole and beans.  Which is chicken broth flavored with a rind of pecorino romano cheese,  a mirepoix (carrots, celery, 0nions) and some minced cloves of garlic, followed by some cannellini beans and chopped escarole!   I have such a strong motherly connection to these soups, because whenever my children were sick growing up I provided them with Italian comfort in a bowl and in my arms.  I cherished those days of being a Stay- at- home Mom, and I am so thankful for how hard my fireman worked at our auto repair business, all while pursuing his dream of being a firefighter, so that I could be at home with our children.  Being able to get in the kitchen and shower them with nourishing food, as I nursed them back to health, was what I always imagined motherhood would be, the same way my Mom did for me and my two sisters growing up.  So as I find myself in need of a little comfort in a bowl today, I took a mental health day to regroup, and bring myself back to center, and these soups are the way to my soul.  It’s also an excellent way to warm up on a cold day here in Jersey today!  I hope you’ll try them and soothe your soul and make them for the ones you love!

**I threw in the Aunt Susie, because since the first day I became an aunt 27 years ago, my nieces and nephews are the “only” ones who refer to me as Susie and I love that!  My nieces and nephews are like my own children to me, and I love and adore each and every one of them! (All 10 of them in addition to 6 great nieces and nephews). I can’t help but chuckle thinking about that popular meme that says “Be nice to your nieces and nephews because they are going to be the ones smuggling in booze to you in the nursing home.”  I already know I can count on all of them for bottles of Pinot Grigio! Aunt Susie loves you!!

Sinfully,

Aunt Susie xoxo

Pasta Fagioli

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Italian soul food at it's best a warm hug in a bowl!

Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath

Ingredients

  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 4 cloves are garlic minced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 6 chopped Campari tomatoes
  • 6-7 slices of prosciutto
  • 1/2 3 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 32 oz. carton of chicken broth
  • 2 (15 oz. cans of cannellini beans, undrained)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of ditalini pasta
  • Italian seasoning, rosemary, tsp. of each
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pecorino Romano for topping soup with to serve

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add a drizzle of olive oil on med. high heat.  When hot add the slices of prosciutto, crisp as you would bacon.  Trust me this taste is amazing and makes the soup!  Remove Proscuitto to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve.
  2. Add a bit more olive oil to the Dutch oven, add carrots, celery onion and garlic, turn down heat cook 1-2 min. Then add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and beans, with herbs, salt and pepper.  Let simmer for at least 20 min. or longer if you prefer.  I think it makes a big difference to simmer at least 30 min.
  3. Add the ditalini and turn up heat to cook pasta, you can add a bit of water if you would like a more liquidy soup.  I prefer a thicker consistency.  Ladle soup into bowls, take reserved prosciutto and crumble, serve atop soup, with a generous sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese and some warm crusty Italian Bread. Devour!

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Italian Wedding Soup

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A soulful satisfying Italian Soup!

Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Alphabet pasta
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 small carrot  diced
  • 2 small ribs of celery diced
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 3 clove of garlic finely minced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 lb. of meatloaf mix
  • 2 slices of stale white bread crust removed
  • splash of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh Parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 bay leaf

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Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, add chicken broth, 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning, 1 bay leaf, and 1 garlic clove minced, carrots, onion, and celery. Let simmer on low about 15 min. or until veg are soft.
  2. In a large bowl combine stale bread and milk and 1 egg. Let soak for 2 min.  Then crumble in bowl.
  3. To the bread mixture add meatloaf mix, 1/4 c of grated cheese, 2 cloves of minced garlic, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to season. Careful not to over salt the cheese will be salty and it will be added to the broth as well. Combine well.
  4. Roll into tiny meatballs about the size of marbles. Add to broth with slotted spoon, along with alphabet pasta, turn up heat slightly, and let simmer in broth about 10 min.
  5. In a medium bowl combine remaining 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of grated cheese.  Beat with fork to combine.

Add chopped spinach to broth simmer 1 min. Then with fork whisk in the egg and cheese mixture drizzling in and whisking lightly with fork to combine, it will resemble egg drop soup.  Let simmer 2 min. then remove soup from stove.  Ladle into bowls topping with some grated cheese and accompanied with a nice hunk of warm Italian bread.  Devour!

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