This soup is so hearty and filling, but very healthy and low cal! We gobbled this up in two days! I chose not to add any pasta-the potatoes giving enough starch for me. If I decided to add 1 1/2 cups small pasta, i think i would cook it half-way, then add it at last 10 minutes and possibly add another 1/4 cup of water. This can also be made vegetarian by omitting the ground chuck. Enjoy!!!