I got this recipe from a co-worker about 15 years ago. She just called it "Fantastic Soup" so that's what we have always called it. It is very hearty and easy to extend...just add another can of beans and/or another can of beef broth. I have also extended it a little by simply adding some water. It is hard to mess up. I use Campbell's brand Minestrone and Rotel brand tomatoes. I prefer the stove top method...the flavor seems better somehow. But you can cook this all day in the crock pot after browning the ground beef and get good results, too.