WATER SOUP – the memory of a grandmother’s love

Hi there,

I saved the following quote. I am sorry but I don’t remember where and from whom it came but I think it sums up the love a grandmother has for her grandchildren. I thought that this story would give us all another way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“Never forget how much I love you. As you grow older, you will face many challenges in life. Just do your best. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain. Every day may not be good, but find something good in every day. Laugh, love, live, follow your dreams, believe in yourself, and remember to be awesome. I’ll always be with you.”

The following story was given to me by my beautiful friend, Teresa. I think it completely interprets the quote. What follows is a reminiscence of Teresa’s grandmother.


I have grown up first generation Italian spending my childhood with two matriarchs.  I spent the school year in Philadelphia surrounded by my parents and first cousins all from the small town Of Isca sull’onio. I was very much sheltered from the American culture. I spent my summers in a small town in upstate Pa with my matriarchal grandmother Filomena. Food was a large focus in our lives. My family kept all their small town traditions since there were so many of them who had emigrated around the same time. Growing up I had a working mother who called me every day at 3 O’clock right after school. She would walk me through the recipe for that night’s dinner. When I was with my grandmother in the summer she insisted I watch her cook.  Both matriarchs had their own style of cooking, one undercooked the other overcooked and they rarely agreed on a recipe.   It was quite interesting being in the middle. MY grandmother was a strong woman who I adored and basically adopted a lot of her idiosyncrasies and cooking orientation.

 There was one simple recipe I just loved, it was my comfort food.  Water soup

I will estimate more or less the quantities which you can adapt to your taste. My grandmother always cooked by instinct and never measured.


4 cups of water 

1 cup of Acne di Pepe (or any other shape you like)

1/2 -3/4 cups of jarred or canned tomato ( best with homemade jarred tomatoes)

1/4 cup of good olive oil

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil

Salt/pepper to your liking

Parmesan cheese


Boil water add salt and acne di Pepe 

Cook for 5 minutes

Have ready in a bowl the tomatoes crushed by hand and mixed with olive oil and chopped basil .

  You can use more tomatoes if you like but soup should be red just pink.

Add the tomatoes with oil into the center and do not stir.

Cook till pasta is cooked to your liking then stir the tomatoes thru the soup.

Serve with plenty of fresh grated Parmesan a drizzle of EVO and fresh pepper.

Great on a cool fall day.

PS these are my beloved Gramdmother Filomena and Mother Rose. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about Philomena and Rose as much as I did and I know I am going to make a memory soon. Wishing you lots of love not just on Valentine’s Day but every day.

32 responses to “WATER SOUP – the memory of a grandmother’s love”

  1. This is just so sweet! You know how much my own grandmother influenced me in the kitchen, and it was just like that, her walking me through her recipes, right there in real time at the stove. Such a precious gift! Thank you for sharing this. And I look forward to seeing more kitchen adventures of you with your wonderful grandkids.

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