How to Make the Banchero’s Soup Recipe At Home

If you lived near Hayward, California between 1948 and 2012, there’s a good chance that you ate at Banchero’s. This legendary (and now sadly closed) restaurant was an institution in the area and heavily acclaimed for its soup. Thankfully, we have the Banchero’s soup recipe that people have been asking for over the years! Here’s what you need to know about this fantastic soup.

What is Banchero’s?

Banchero’s was the kind of old-school restaurant that you don’t see too often anymore. It was opened in 1948 and was a family-run Italian restaurant that focused on great food and reasonable prices. Some of its most famous foods include garlic bread and its legendary soup. Some people lament the soup more than the main dishes, which is why we made sure we got the recipe right!

After many years of serving the area, Banchero’s closed down in 2012 and broke the hearts of many people in California. Since then, its legend only seems to spread and copycat recipes for its soup have appeared all over online. Our recipe is the closest that you’ll get to the real deal and includes a few simple tips that can help make this meal an even better option for people who never got to try Banchero’s.

Banchero’s Soup Recipe Ingredients

Banchero’s famous soup recipe features very simple ingredients that just about anybody has at home. That was one of the biggest appeals of this restaurant: while you could easily make it at home, Banchero’s just did it a bit better! They were the ultimate comfort food option in the area for many, many years. Find these ingredients to start cooking this legendary soup in your home:

  • Eight cups of chicken stock
  • One large potato peeled and diced into cubes
  • One large carrot peeled and diced
  • One large celery stalk diced
  • Three ounces of pearl barley
  • Three ounces of Egg Pastina Pasta (Orzo can also work)
  • One-half teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Four ounces of tomato paste
  • Salt, pepper, and Parmesan (for taste and garnishing)

And that’s it! You probably have many of these items already in the house or available in your cupboards. If not, buying the extra ingredients should be inexpensive enough for most people. That’s another great thing about this soup: you can save many of the ingredients to make more soup later! You can even make this soup for your friends and family members to give away as gifts in the holiday season.

How to Make Banchero’s Soup Recipe

Even though Banchero’s is gone and never to return, you can recreate their legendary soup following these steps. Make sure that you check the recipe ingredients above to ensure that you have everything. Most people should have a majority of these items at home and, if not, they can easily find them from supermarkets or farmer’s markets near them:

  1. Boil the chicken stock in a large pot after chopping celery, carrots, and potato
  2. Add the barley and garlic powder in the stock and boil for five minutes
  3. Pour in the celery, carrots, and potatoes after boiling the stock
  4. Boil these ingredients for another five minutes at least
  5. Reduce the heat to medium to create a more simmering texture
  6. Add the tomato sauce and stir it in to mix it properly with the food
  7. Let the soup cook on this heat for about 20 minutes uncovered
  8. Stir the soup occasionally while it simmers at this temperature
  9. Pour in your pasta and let it cook for about 10 minutes until the pasta is tender
  10. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and Parmesan on the top to your specific taste
  11. Serve immediately in medium-sized soup bowls while still hot
  12. Store extra soup in air-tight containers in your refrigerator or freeze

Because this soup has no meat, you can probably store it a bit longer than you would other types. Note that the cheese may go bad before the veggies, which could give it a potent smell. It is best to occasionally smell-test your stored soup and to throw it away if it has a rancid or putrid smell. Doing so can help you avoid food poisoning or other serious digestive issues.

Ways We Make Banchero’s Soup Recipe Better

If you love this soup but want to get even more out of it, you can follow these simple tips! We included two steps that improve the soup’s flavor and two that enhance its overall health. Note that you can adjust these steps any way that seems right to you. For example, some people may appreciate adding both flavor and health to their soup and getting an even better meal.

Add More Cheese (Flavor Tip)

There are many extra cheeses you can add to this soup to make it even more enjoyable. White cheddar, Churu cheese, blue cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella, and much more all go well with the different flavors here. Make sure that you carefully choose the type that you want and balance its overall taste with that of the rest of the soup to ensure that it doesn’t get overshadowed by the cheese.

Spice It Up! (Flavor Tip)

If you feel like this soup needs a bit of a kick, you can add some great flavor by throwing in some red pepper flakes, sliced green peppers, or even minced garlic. The latter option can replace the garlic powder in this recipe, if you like. Replacing the garlic powder adds a bit more density to this soup and creates a tasty and unforgettable meal that you are likely to enjoy for many days after it is completed.

Cut Back on the Garlic Powder (Health Tip)

Garlic powder is a great addition to this soup but has a lot of sodium and other ingredients that you may want to avoid. Cutting back on it definitely impacts its taste, though, so be prepared for that change. Some people may hate this different taste, while others may enjoy it. We think you can safely cut back on about half the garlic powder to get a great result with this change.

Watch the Salt! (Health Tip)

While Banchero’s tended to use a lot of salt on their delicious soup, you can’t have to do that! You can cut back on the salt you use to make it a bit healthier. Remember: the salt is just to taste and isn’t typically an essential part of the recipe. You can cut it out entirely (the healthiest option) or add a little bit to keep some of the preservative power. It all depends on your preference and your need for a healthy soup.

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