Pasta Fagioli My Way, Slow Cooker or Simmer on the Stove All Day, Serve Some Now and Freeze Base for Later

One Pot Meals are a hit here.
This evening we will have Sunday dinner for the family and I am looking for an easy but delicious meal.  This hearty crock pot version of the chili like Italian soup featured at Olive Garden might just do the trick.  I choose simmer this on the stove all afternoon instead of the slow cooker.  Either way it works!  I have seen versions of it floating about but here is my adaptation.  Not such a big Oregano fan but I have and love fresh Basil and Parsley from my garden to use instead.  The delicious home canned tomatoes will be a plus too.  I am serving it with traditional garlic bread and a green salad and for good measure I am making my first pumpkin pie of the season.   

Pumpkin Pie for the first day of fall.

Above are the links for the pie and the easiest and most delicious crust ever!

While chopping veggies make extra to throw in the salad.
HELPFUL HINT:  Another thing I planned is to make a big batch of the soup and remove about a third of it to cool and freeze prior to adding the pasta.  It is my experience that pasta will freeze OK but is better added fresh.  I also will dice extra celery and carrots to use later in the salad while I have the soup ingredients in hand.

Ingredients for Pasta Fagioli My Way:

3 pounds ground chuck browned
1 large onion diced
3 cloves fresh garlic minced
4 diced carrots
5 ribs of celery diced
2 quarts of my home canned tomatoes or equivalent store bought (8 cups)
2 C. tomato juice
1 drained 16 oz. can of red kidney beans
1 drained 16 oz. can of cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1 quart of beef stock (4 cups)
2 t. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
1 t. hot sauce
1 -2 T. sugar (add to taste depending on the tomatoes)
salt to taste
1 - 20 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
8 ounces pasta
grated cheese, optional for garnish atop the bowls of soup

Salt, pepper, beef, and onions to start the pot!
Brown and drain the ground chuck then add to crock pot or large soup kettle with a heavy bottom.  Stir in everything else EXCEPT NOT the pasta. 

I  prefer simmering soup all day on the stove unless I am not going to be home then it is the crock pot!
Simmer over lowest heat all day.  Add the pasta the last 30 minutes of the cooking time.  Serve with crusty bread in large bowls.  Pass shredded cheese if desired to top the steaming bowls of soup.

Enjoy!  Yield about 3 gallons of soup, 14-18 large servings.  Even better the next day!  A nice batch (2 quarts) in the deep freeze for another day.  Big bonus for my efforts.

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