Thursday, November 15, 2007


This is a flavorful, healthy soup that is perfect for the crockpot. I call it Olive Garden because it tastes a lot like the soup they serve in their restaurants (for about 1/4 the cost!) Dinner can be started in the morning (or the night before and refrigerated if you have a crockpot with a removeable insert) and simmers on low all day so you come home to a perfectly cooked meal and a great smelling kitchen. This makes a huge amount of soup that fills a large crockpot, so there is bound to be enough leftover to share or freeze for a quick dinner another time. I served it with homemade French bread, but rolls would be just as good to dip in the delicious broth.

1 pound lean, organic ground beef (I used venison)
1 small onion, diced
2 cups carrot, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can red kidney beans (w/liquid)
1 15 ounce can great northern beans (w/liquid)
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
12 ounces V-8 Juice (I like the bottled)
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 pound short tube pasta

Brown the beef in a large saucepan and drain any fat once cooked.

Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the saucepan and saute for 10 minutes.

While vegetables are cooking, place remaining ingredients in crockpot except pasta. Add beef/vegetable mixture to crockpot and place on low heat for up to 8 hours.

Before serving the soup, cook the pasta in 1 1/2 quarts boiling water until al dente, or slightly chewy. Drain pasta and rinse under hot water in a colander then add to soup. Simmer for 10 minutes to heat through, then serve.

This serves approx. 8 people 1 1/2 cups of soup each.

No comments: