Are You Curious About A Cookbook That Changes People’s Lives?


July 4, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson

Bean-pasta-soupAre You Curious About A Cookbook That Changes People’s Lives?

I was and am, especially when I was introduced to Share: the cookbook that celebrates our common humanity by Women for Women International and edited by Alison Oakervee via my friend Leggy Peggy’s What’s Cooking on page 32 blog.

I was intrigued and just had to get my hands on a copy of this cookbook which has “genuinely and truly” touched me!
share-cookbookInterestingly, but not purposely, I picked the same Hearty pasta and bean soup (by Mary McCarthy) recipe as Leggy Peggy!

Women for Women International is a non-profit organization that helps provide support to “women survivors of war.”

As soon as I opened the cookbook and started to read the foreword by Meryl Streep, I knew this was not going to be “just about making a recipe from a cookbook,” but Meryl’s insights and words inspired me!

Meryl describes Share: the cookbook that celebrates our common humanity as “A book of joy!”

Meryl shared:
“Women for Women International began with a commitment on the part of a single individual to contribute in some way to the global community.

And “…our actions, however small, have an exponential influence in the world through our shared humanity.”

Share: the cookbook that celebrates our common humanity contains recipes, stories and quotes from not only “world-class chefs, influential humanitarians,” but to me most importantly from the women whose lives have been helped by Women for Women International.

If I had to sum up this cookbook in one word, I would choose “extraordinary,” and truly recommend you consider purchasing Share: the cookbook that celebrates our common humanity.

The stories shared are about real people, real women and there was something to be “genuinely touched” by each and every recipe, photo and quote.

I was particularly drawn to “We help mothers, we help children, and ultimately, we can rebuild whole societies” Mariama, WfWI sponsor

The quote appeared on the top of Mary McCartney’s: Hearty pasta and bean soup.

Do you know 100% of the profits of the proceeds from Share: the cookbook that celebrates our common humanity goes directly back into the war torn countries helping women with training, education and job skills to help them gain employment, improve confidence and in turn make a difference in another person’s life?

They say “for every one person helped, five people in turn benefit.”

Wouldn’t you want to become part of this cookbook experience too?

I must admit, I have made this soup several times and each time, I found myself “genuinely sad” and “genuinely glad” as I am a believer that out of not so good things in life, great things happen!

One only needs to visually see the bright, smiling faces of the extraordinary women who chose to share their stories and recipes!

The photography throughout the book is stunning and of course, with any charity, it always helps if the cause is supported by celebrities.

The true heroes in my opinion, are the women (through support by Women for Women International), who have been “helped to help themselves” and their families!

Mary McCartney shared that what she loves about this soup is “the versatility,” and it “makes a great lunch as well as a starter for dinner.”
Bean-soupI liked she shared that her Hearty pasta and bean soup “is a good way of getting kids interested in eating beans and vegetables too!”
I know it got Chef Georgio eating his veggies (Aussie lingo for vegetables) and he gave it two thumbs up!

Mary McCartney: Hearty pasta and bean soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
"Versatile soup as well as tasty! it makes a great lunch as well as starter for dinner." Quote via Mary McCartney
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
  • Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, Finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 400g canned cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 60g macaroni or any small pasta
  • 50g frozen petit pois or peas
  • 1 medium courgette, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 40g Parmesan or a vegetarian hard cheese, finely grated (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, carrots, onion and celery and gently fry for 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured.
  3. Stir in the beans and the chopped tomatoes, pour in the vegetable stock and add the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta, petit pois or peas and courgette (if using) and simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked al dente. Stir in the parsley, season and serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese (if using).
Recipe Courtesy of Share: Women for Women International Cookbook p33
as found via What's Cooking on page 32

Are You Curious About A Cookbook That Changes People’s Lives?

I hope you continue to be!

As Meryl Streep shared:
“Take time to enjoy the food and read the stories. Welcome friends and family to join your table. Join me – in celebration of our shared humanity.

I wrote this post to not only raise awareness for Women for Women International and Share: the cookbook that celebrates our common humanity, but am hoping you will take the time to purchase the book for yourself and for women and families whose lives will change with your support.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to FOLLOW via Twitter, LIKE via Facebook, SHARED via Google+ and LOVED being PINNED…on PinterestREALLY!

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18 thoughts on “Are You Curious About A Cookbook That Changes People’s Lives?

  1. savoryexperiments says:

    What a great idea for a cookbook! I love learning about other culture, foods and traditions.

  2. Ricki says:

    Thanks for sharing at The Weekend Social, I’m looking forward to seeing you again next Thursday at 9pm EST at for another installment of The Weekend Social.

  3. swathiiyer says:

    Delicious recipe Joanne also interesting cookbook, thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop . I am pinning it.

  4. leggypeggy says:

    How fun that we chose the same recipe.

    • Great minds think alike Peggy, I won’t finish the sentence lol but yes, it was only when I got the blog post up that I realized we picked the same yummy recipe!
      Thank you for introducing the book to me and now all and continuing to inspire me!

  5. Never heard about it – sounds like a good thing to have.

  6. Sounds like a neat book. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sounds like an interesting book! 🙂

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About me

Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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