Watch how to make slow cooker hearty beef and pasta soup

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My grandmother would say that this soup is "good for what ails you." I agree wholeheartedly. Broken hearts, terrible days at work and all manner of other things can be soothed, if not cured, by this soup. It's truly marvelous stuff, and much greater than the sum of its parts.
It's also a forgiving recipe, so don't fret if you don't measure something exactly, or you have butter beans instead of cannellini beans. This soup will take it all in its own delicious, warming stride.
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Slow Cooker Hearty Beef and Pasta Soup
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Serves: 6 to 8
Ingredients
1 pound lean ground beef
2 whole carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
28-ounce can crushed/chopped tomatoes
2 14.5-ounce cans beef broth or fresh beef stock
2 whole bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup ditalini pasta (small tubes or similar shape), uncooked
Parmesan cheese, powdered, to serve
Cooktop Cove
Instructions
1. Put everything except beans, pasta and cheese in a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir, making sure to break up the ground beef.
2. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
3. About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in beans (drained and rinsed) and pasta. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
4. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Sprinkle powdered Parmesan on top.
Serve piping hot, to cries of great joy. Some people might want salad with their soup, and it would taste great. But really, you probably just need some decent rustic-style bread and a spoon!
Note: All slow cookers are a little bit different in temperature and calibration. This recipe was tested in Cooktop Cove's Test Kitchen using this slow cooker, which is available for purchase here.
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