Banchero's Soup Recipe | Reminiscing About a Bay Area Favorite | Fresh Local Vibes (2024)

Written By fresh local vibes

A Tribute to the Soup That Brings Back All of the Childhood Feels

Do you remember what your favorite family restaurant was as a kid – and I’m not talking happy meals from a fast-food chain. I'm talking about graduating from the kiddie menu to ordering from the regular adult menu at a proper sit-down restaurant. For me, that was a local Italian-American restaurant in the Bay Area. My childhood memories consisted of propping myself in front of the TV for Saturday morning cartoons and family gatherings at my favorite spot.

Like most kids, I was a picky eater, and eating out with the fam was a bit of a challenge. This went on for a good portion of my childhood until my family brought me to Banchero’s. Ever since my first meal there, it stuck with us as our go-to spot until they sadly closed their doors in 2012.

Banchero's Soup Recipe | Reminiscing About a Bay Area Favorite | Fresh Local Vibes (1)

Banchero's was an old school, no-frills, Italian-American family restaurant which first opened its doors in 1948 in Hayward, CA. When I say “old school”, it really was. Nothing had changed about the restaurant since its opening. My Grandma took my dad there as a kid and he, in turn, brought me there as a kid and we all loved eating there together.

Eating there never let you down -- the food was always consistently delicious but it was never the main course that had me coming back again and again. For me, the entrée was always an afterthought. My favorite thing to eat at Banchero’s was hands down the soup and garlic bread. Whenever I was sad or feeling under the weather, some Banchero's soup and garlic bread made everything right in the world. I could eat the soup by the bucket as long as I had the garlic bread to dip in it.

Banchero's Soup Recipe | Reminiscing About a Bay Area Favorite | Fresh Local Vibes (2)

That was the vibe – no frills, old-school nostalgia and a memorable feast with the fam for less than $15 a person. I was devastated when Bancheros closed their doors and after years of missing my favorite soup and garlic bread combo, I set out to recreate it and share the nostalgia with friends and family.

Read on to see our recreation of the Banchero’s soup. It’s as close to the real thing as you can get!

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Banchero’s Soup Recipe

Banchero's Soup Recipe | Reminiscing About a Bay Area Favorite | Fresh Local Vibes (3)

This hearty soup is a savory dish that uses a chicken stock-based infused with tomato paste. The ingredients consist of diced celery, carrots, and potatoes with barley and orzo. A dash of salt, pepper, and garlic salt to round out the flavors.

THE INGREDIENTS

  • 8 cups of Chicken Stock

  • 1 Potato (peeled and diced into small cubes)

  • 1-2 Carrots, peeled and small dice

  • 1-2 Celery Stalks, small dice

  • 3oz Pearl Barley

  • 3oz Egg Pastina Pasta or Orzo (egg pastina preferred)

  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder

  • 4oz Tomato Paste

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Parmesan Cheese for garnish when serving

Step 1: Bring Chicken Stock to a boil. Chop celery, carrots and potato into cube size pieces.

Step 2: Add barley and garlic powder and let everything boil for 5 mins.

Step 3: Add celery, carrots, potato let boil for 5 mins.

Step 4: Lower heat to medium add tomato sauce and stir in. Let the soup cook on medium for about 20 mins.

Step 5: Add pasta. Let the soup cook for about 10 mins or until done. If pasta is done cooking but veggies are not tender, then lower heat and simmer until done.

Step 6: Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 7: Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan to garnish.

The assembly of the soup was pretty easy to follow. The prepping and cutting of the vegetables probably took the most time. After making this a couple of times, it gets easier to put together.

Banchero's Soup Recipe | Reminiscing About a Bay Area Favorite | Fresh Local Vibes (8)

Bonus Recipe for Garlic Bread

  • 2tbsp Olive Oil

  • ½ Stick Salted Butter

  • 4 cloves of garlic finely minced

  • 1 loaf of bread cut into serving pieces

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 375

STEP 2: Put olive oil, butter, garlic into saucepan and heat on low until butter is melted

STEP 3: Turn off heat and let sit while you cut bread into pieces

STEP 4: Spoon garlic mixture onto bread and evenly coat top

STEP 5: Bake for 10 mins or golden brown. (oven cooking power varies)

Banchero's Soup Recipe | Reminiscing About a Bay Area Favorite | Fresh Local Vibes (9)

And here is the final result -- We were pretty excited to share it with the fam! We probably ate way too many bowls to count. Times may have changed but the first spoonful instantly brought back memories of Banchero's and all of the laughs and celebrations we shared around this bowl of soup. Hope you enjoy this recreation as much as we did!

Cheers!

ALSO CHECK OUT: BANCHERO’S MIGHT BE GONE, BUT HERE ARE 5 BAY AREA SPOTS THAT HELP HIT THOSE NOSTALGIC VIBES

SHARING IS COOL, PASS IT ON >>

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