“Magic Soup” {Boyhood}


With the Academy Awards just days away, I believe I have saved the best for last.

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater‘s “Boyhood” is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, “Boyhood” charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. “Boyhood” is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting.

Richard Linklater and his crew got together annually to film this script about a boy who will eventually grow up into a college freshman. Linklater’s method behind production was essentially to make several 10- to 15-minute short films over the course of 12 years, each depicting a year in the life of the boy, and then edit them together as a feature film. And while this project so easily could have been a mess, it was pieced together beautifully and tells a tale that everyone can relate to.

Boyhood is one of only 11 movies to receive a metascore of 100, the highest possible score that can be attained from professional movie critics, and this is the only film to receive this score upon it’s original release. It’s no surprise that it has been nominated for Best Motion Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Editing. This film has the potential to score big at the Oscars, as it took home the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and Original Screenplay this year.

{“Magic Soup”}
Makes 8 servings

This film caused me to reflect on everything life has thrown me in the past 24 years. Sometimes it was subtle, like a particular song instantly taking me back to middle school. Other time it was a more obvious trigger, like the main character’s high school graduation. You can’t help but think about growing up as you watch this movie. I’ve been blessed to have an amazing family, and great friends, by my side since day one. When thinking about what recipe to make for this film, it couldn’t have been more obvious: Though it hasn’t always been called “Magic Soup,” this sausage, vegetable, and tortellini soup is the meal I requested every time I came home from college. I even had my mom send me the recipe when I lived in my sorority house so the cook could make it for all my sisters. And now, I’m happy to share it with you.


  • 1 pound Italian Sausage, casings removed
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, sliced
  • 5 cups Beef, Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 cups Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 ounces) Tomato Sauce, canned
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Dry Red Wine (I use apple juice or just double water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups Zucchini, sliced
  • 8 ounces meat filled or cheese filled tortellini (I use Buitoni every time)
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated


  • Brown the sausage in a skillet, stirring until crumbly. Remove the sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Drain the skillet, reserving 1 tablespoon of the pan drippings. Sauté the garlic in the reserved pan drippings until the garlic is softened a bit. Combine the garlic, sausage, broth, tomatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, water, wine, basil and oregano in a soup pot or Dutch Oven. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat.
  • Simmer, uncovered for 3o minutes, stirring occasionally; skim. Stir in the zucchini, pasta. Simmer, covered, for 35-40 minutes longer or until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

This soup reminds me of coming home after a long day of horseback riding, it reminds me of curling up on our once green (and now recently recovered) couch with my cat, it reminds me of my family’s intense movie selection process for family movie night. My sister and I just recently started calling it magic soup because it has the power to fix everything. And as I sat back and watched “Boyhood”, that was the one message that came through loud and clear: Family has the power to fix everything. Enjoy the movie, the soup, and get ready for this year’s Academy Awards.

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