Pasta & Bean Soup

This is just a mid-west version of pasta e fagioli (think Olive Garden). It's really fast to make and is hearty enough to be a meal on it's own.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Ground beef
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Qt. Beef stock
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1 14.2oz. can of red kidney beans
  • 1 14.2oz. can of canelini beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBspn. dried basil
  • 1 Tspn. dried oregano
  • 2 Tspn. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBspn. hot sauce such as Franks
  • 2 TBspn. tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup ditilini pasta
  • 2 TBspn. olive oil
  • salt

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Once the oil is hot add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for about five minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes, making sure not to let the garlic get brown.
  2. Add the ground beef to the pot making sure to break it up with your fingers. Brown the beef, thoroughly string it into the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic mixture.
  3. Once the beef is browned, add all remaining ingredients except the pasta. Stir it up really well to combine, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Gently simmer on medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, checking every 10 minutes or so to make sure everything is evenly combined.
  5. After 45 minute remove from the heat and add the pasta. Stir well, and cover for 15-20 minutes. The residual heat from the soup pot will cook the pasta without being on direct heat. Taste and add salt as needed.

Serving Tips

I like to serve this with a little bit of Parmesan cheese grated on top and some bread or maybe even a grilled cheese.