Watch how to make a hearty beef and pasta soup

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My grandmother would say that this soup is 'good for what ails you.' I would 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 have butter beans instead of cannellini beans; this soup will take it all in it's delicious, warming stride.
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Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
1 lb lean ground beef
2 whole carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can crushed/chopped tomatoes
2 cans (14.5 oz each) beef broth or fresh beef stock
2 whole bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup ditalini pasta (or similar shape), uncooked
Parmesan cheese, powdered, to serve
Cooktop Cove
Instructions
1. Put everything except beans, pasta, and cheese into a 6-quart slow cooker and stir, making sure to break up the ground beef.
2. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
3. 30 minutes before the end, stir in beans (drained and rinsed) and pasta. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
4. Remove 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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