The 5 Pots and Pans You Really Need, Plus 1 Ingenious Tool
Make sure to...purchase a pot with a thick, heavy bottom. This will prevent burning, which isn't an issue for pasta but is a concern for soup, since it cooks for a long time.
But don't...go for anodized aluminum (which is dark gray or black) if you're a new or unsure cook. When you're sautéing onions, celery and carrots for soup, for instance, it'll be difficult to see what color the vegetables are (e.g., to determine if they're translucent, as you want them, or pale, which means they've cooked too long), against the pot's dark bottom.
Try this recipe: Lentil, Tomato and Rice Soup