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Italian Vegetable Soup

Italian Vegetable Soup

Need a good dose of Italian comfort food but want more vegetables and less carbs? This versatile soup recipe allows you to control the balance.
Servings 3 quarts

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz dry pasta penne works well
  • 1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 28-32 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 cup celery
  • 2-4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup pasta water or plain water
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini or red kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz can green beans
  • 1-2 cups shredded cabbage or chopped kale optional
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well. Reserve the pasta water to add to the soup.
  • Brown ground beef with onion and a little salt and pepper over medium heat; drain.
  • Add garlic, herbs and spices. Stir into meat/onion mixture until well combined.
  • Add tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.
  • Add carrots, celery, beef broth, pasta water, cannellini/kidney beans, and liquid from the green beans. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer (covering pot partially with lid) for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cabbage (do not add kale at this point if substituting) and green beans. Simmer an additional 10 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, place pasta (and a small handful of kale, if using) in soup bowl and cover with soup (see note below).
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Notes

  1. As always, soup is better if it is made a day in advance.
  2. Cooking the pasta separately and adding it to the individual bowls helps to keep the pasta from becoming too soft in the leftover soup and allows each person to determine how much pasta they want!
  3. This recipe could also be made without meat (and with vegetable broth) for a vegetarian option.