Happy Halloween! If you're looking for a hearty meal to fill the belly of your little ghost or goblin before they eat their weight in chocolate, you've come to the right place. This is some good soup.
It's based upon Olive Garden's Pasta E. Fagioli which, quite frankly, I've never had, but it sounded good. So I made it. In the crockpot.
This is a crowd-pleasing soup. There's nothing weird in it, and it has a fun kick that isn't spicy as much as it is noticeable.
--1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
--1/2 large red onion, chopped
--1 cup carrots, chopped
--2 celery stalks, sliced
--2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (and juice)
--1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
--1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
--4 cups beef broth (check label for gluten!)
--1 jar (26-ounce) pasta sauce
--2 tsp oregano
--1 T Tabasco sauce
--1/2 tsp salt
--1/4 tsp black pepper
--1/2 cup dry pasta, to add at end of cooking time (I used TJ's brown rice fusilli)
Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot, or cut the recipe in half. This makes a lot.
Brown the meat on the stovetop, and drain well. Let it cool a bit.
Chop up the carrots, onion, and celery. Add it to the empty crockpot.
Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Add the whole cans of tomatoes, and the pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and Tobasco sauce. Stir in your meat.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the 1/2 cup of dry pasta.
Cover and cook for another hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. It will swell quite a bit.
Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese if you have it.
Delicious. Amazing. This is a very filling soup, and a great warm-me-up on a chilly evening. The ingredients are everything you'd put in a traditional minestrone, but that bit of Tobasco sauce changes the flavor dramatically. Very yummy. One kid ate a bowl, and the other one fell asleep before dinner. I wasn't about to wake her.
I was on the news last night in Oklahoma! At the very end when the newscaster says I have a book on this year coming out in March, she is mistaken. The book is Totally Together: An Organizational Journal for the Busy Household.