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Aunt Angiolina’s Bean Soup

Aunt Angiolina’s Bean Soup

This soup has been one of my favorites since I was a child. Although I spent several weeks at the farm every summer when I was growing up, this is a dish that is not made much during the hot season. In winter we visited the farm only occasionally, so I did not eat this soup very often, but when I did, I cherished it even more. Only a few years ago I asked Aunt Angiolina the ‘secret’ details to her soup. So here you have it! (This soup is better if eaten the day (or two, three days) after it is made.)



  • 1-2 cups of pinto beans


  • 1-2 cloves of garlic


  • 1 cup of tomatoes


  • parsley


  • 1-2 cups of small pasta

Soak overnight one to two cups of dried pinto beans. (Aunt Angiolina preferred to use freshly shelled beans which they harvested in mid-summer!)

Discard the water and cook the beans with salt and abundant fresh water (you can also add, for extra flavor, half of a small onion, to be discarded when the beans are cooked).

When the beans are thoroughly cooked, puree them in a food mill with some of their broth. If you like, you can leave half a cup of whole beans for the soup. I happen to like my soup liquid, so I usually puree them all.

Brown 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic, add a cup of tomatoes, fresh or canned. Cook for 15 minutes or so, put 1-2 tablespoons of parsley and cook for another 5 minutes. Once again puree everything through a food mill and add to the bean mixture

Add 4-6 cups of water to the mixture, bring to a boil, add salt and pepper to taste and put in 1 to 2 cups of small pasta, preferably ‘ditalini’ or little elbows.

Cook for another 10-15 minutes and then let stand for at least a couple of hours before eating….Taste it once again for salt and pepper and add another tablespoon of parsley. (Tuscans would put a hefty dollop of olive oil on this soup when they serve it. Rick likes this soup with broken up bread, olive oil and freshly ground pepper.) Buon appetito!