This is one of our favorites. It's simple - and also cans very well (for those of you who even take the time to do that!)
Pasta e Fagioli Soup (Olive Garden knock-off)
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, julienned (1 cup)
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 12-ounce can V-8 juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditali pasta
freshly grated parmesan cheese
Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Drain off most of the fat.
Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
About 50 minutes into simmer time, cook the pasta in 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of boiling water over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or just until pasta is al dente, or slightly tough. Drain.
Add the pasta to the large pot of soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.
Goes great with garlic breadstick or garlic toast. Mmmmmmm!