Grandma’s Favorite Soup (meat and vegetable soup)

This is a vegetable soup on which my brother and I grew up. It was loved even by my father who hated vegetables. It is a soup that my own children devoured even when a bite of a vegetable would make them gag.  It is a vegetable soup base that is pureed and becomes a thick base for chunks of veal, beef and pastina.

it wasn’t until my first trip to Florence that I realized this was a fairly typical Tuscan preparation and is called Zuppa Passato. I hope you enjoy it as ha e three generations of my family.


  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1lb celery
  • 1 lb onion
  • 20 oz tomatoes, preferably San Mariano tomatoes DOP (that means they are certified San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 1/2 lb green beans
  • 2 lb beef bones
  • 1lb chuck roast
  • 1 lb veal breast or shoulder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasonings
  • 1tablespoon salt


  1. Cut celery and carrots in half. Remove stemmed of green beans. Leave onion whole.
  2. Cut veal and beef in 4″ pieces. Any smaller and they fall apart in the soup.
  3. Place meat and bones in a tall stock pot, big enough to hold all the ingredients. Cover bones with water and bring to a simmer. Let simmer a few minutes until the scum rises to the top. Skim off the scum.
  4. Place vegetables and seasonings in the pot and simmer uncovered for about 4 hours.
  5. After 4 hours, separate the vegetables from the meat. Put the broth in a tall container and refrigerate until the fat rises to the top. Scoop off the fat.
  6. Put the vegetables in a blender with enough broth so that it churns smoothly. Blend u til smooth. Alternatively, add the vegetables to a food mill and process them going from the disc with the largest holes to the smallest.
  7. Add contents of blender Or food mill to the rest of the broth. Add the meat to the broth. Heat and serve.

We serve this soup with Parmesan cheese and pastina, which we cook separately and put in the bowl with the meat. The soup freezes extremely well.



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