Grandma Soup (aka Leo’s “Sopa de la Abuela”)

14651228_s“Sopa de la Abuela,” or “Grandma Soup,” as it’s called by both names in our house, is an incredibly flavorful, comforting soup that Leo’s grandma used to make for him. It’s one of the simplest recipes, fast and easy to make, and we enjoy it year-round. It’s best with a little crusty bread.

The pasta used in this soup is acini di pepe, which I’d never heard of before. It’s a tiny pasta- acini di pepe means “peppercorns” and indeed they are exactly that size. They’re really just tiny balls of dough.

We serve this soup as my husband eats virtually all soup – with a very healthy serving of Parmesan cheese. Leo’s Italian side is partial to grated Parmesan and he’s easily satisfied with a giant jar of Kraft Parmesan cheese from Costco, so that’s what we use. It might be a little pedestrian for some who might prefer a freshly grated cheese, but Leo hasn’t complained yet.

Grandma Soup (aka Leo’s “Sopa de la Abuela”)


  • Chicken broth (approximately 2-3 cups per person being served)
  • OR
  • Water (approximately 2-3 cups per person being served)
  • Knorr vegetable stock cubes (1 cube for every 4-6 cups water)
  • Acini di pepe pasta (approximately 1/4 c. per person being served)
  • Parmesan cheese to taste


  1. Place broth or water in a pot. If you're using water, throw in your Knorr cubes now. Wait until the broth is at a rolling boil, then add acini di pepe pasta. Let the pasta cook for about 10-11 minutes, stirring occasionally, then when the pasta is just a bit al dente, turn off the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese liberally over the top of the soup and serve with crusty bread.

Susan Baroncini-Moe

Susan Baroncini-Moe is a Guinness World Records® titleholder, author of Business In Blue Jeans: How To Have A Successful Business On Your Own Terms, In Your Own Style , and a business & marketing coach and consultant. When she's not counseling her clients on how to market their businesses, she's making jams, jellies, crafty things, and booze or hanging out with her husband and their delightfully wicked guinea pig, Ginger.

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