Cook1 hr 30 mins
A wonderful hearty minestrone and even better the next day, I also like to add in fresh baby spinach at the end of cooking and simmer for a few minutes, this soup freezes very well --- the longer this soup simmers the richer it will be so don't be afraid to cook for a longer time, feel free to adjust all amounts to taste --- add in some cooked small shells at the end of cooking if desired.
- 1⁄2 lb lean ground beef
- 1⁄2 lb bulk pork sausage (or use 1 pound ground beef)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 -3 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 -2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups v- 8 tomato juice (or use regular tomato juice)
- 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
- 1 -2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
- 1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons seasoning salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 medium zucchini (sliced in half lengthwise then sliced into pieces)
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 -2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- In a Dutch oven cook the ground beef with pork and onion until no longer pink; drain fat.
- Add in fresh garlic, diced celery, chili flakes and Italian seasoning; cook stirring for 3 minutes.
- Add in crushed tomatoes, V-8 tomato juice, tomato sauce, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and red and white kidney beans, seasoned salt and black pepper bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally (can simmer longer if desired).
- Add in zucchini and carrots and continue cooking until veggies are fork tender (about 20 minutes).
- Add in 1-2 teaspoons sugar and season with more salt and pepper (if needed).
- Mix in Parmesan cheese until heated through, then mix in the cooked shells (if using).
- Ladle into bowls and top with more Parmesan cheese if desired.
Great meal for a chilly night! I used all ground beef and tried to reduce the sodium as much as possible (no seasoning salt, reduced or no sodium tomato ingredients when available) and it was delicious. I used the higher amounts of recommended spices and the heat level was perfect. Thanks for posting Kittencal!
This was a delicious meal tonight. A very thick, hearty soup that we all enjoyed. I followed the recipe exactly, using a pound of ground beef since that's what I had. Also added the baby spinach at the end. I used the highest measurement of all the ingredients listed except the pepper flakes. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons and I'm glad I didn't use more. It had a definite kick to it and we like spicy foods, so if you don't like hot, use less. Ingredients did not list the amount of shell pasta so I contacted Kittencal and was told to get a 12 ounce pckg. Thanks Kittencal for posting this recipe. Not only did my whole family enjoy it, but it made my house smell great!