A hearty mixture of ground beef and vegetables makes an incredibly delicious soup. The soup gets its fabulous flavor from Italian herbs, onion soup mix, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese. With the addition of cooked pasta, the result is similar to minestrone.
This soup is an excellent starting point, and there are lots of other vegetables you might add. Some possibilities include whole kernel corn, diced rutabaga or parsnips, drained canned navy beans or great northern beans, and mushrooms. Or add frozen, more tender vegetables about 30 to 45 minutes before serving (e.g., English peas, cut green beans, mixed vegetables). If you don't have macaroni, use ditalini or small shells in the soup. For a lighter soup (or if you are trying to avoid red meat) consider using ground turkey or ground chicken thighs.
For more liquid, add a 14.5-ounce can of Italian-seasoned tomatoes with their juice, or add an extra cup of beef stock or water. The soup freezes well, too. Make a double batch and freeze half of it for a future meal.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 (1-ounce) envelope onion soup mix
- 3 cups boiling water (or unsalted beef stock)
- 1 beef bouillon cube or beef flavor granules (omit if you use beef stock)
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 1/2 cup macaroni (uncooked)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble the ground beef into the skillet and cook until it is no longer pink, stirring constantly. Drain the beef and transfer it to the crock pot.
- Add the black pepper, oregano, basil, seasoned salt, and onion soup mix to the beef.
- Add the water, bouillon, tomato sauce, soy sauce, celery, and carrots. Stir to blend the ingredients
- Cover the pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- About 30 minutes before the soup is done, cook the macaroni in boiling water following the package directions. Drain well.
- Turn the crock pot to high and add the cooked macaroni and Parmesan cheese.
- Cover and cook the soup on the high setting for about 10 minutes longer.
- To cook the soup on the stovetop, brown the ground beef in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the remaining ingredients, except macaroni, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour. Cook the macaroni and add it to the soup along with the Parmesan cheese. Heat through.
- It's always best to brown ground beef before adding it to the slow cooker. Browning adds more flavor and the color and texture of are much improved.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||13 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||6 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|