This is a great soup to make on a night when you are pressed for time. It was a hit with my kids because it tastes a lot like spaghetti and meatballs! Pantry basics are the base: pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and small pasta. Add some fresh ingredients(or even frozen!) like ground beef, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and garlic and you have a quick, healthy, satisfying meal! You can mix up whatever veggies will go over well with your family. Play around with it!
This makes a lot, and it reheats very well. It thickens in the fridge, so becomes a little more like a pasta dish, so I add a little water to it before I warm it up. If you don’t like the way that pasta softens in the leftover soup, cook it in a separate pot and add it right before you warm up your bowl of yummy soup!
Beef, Pasta, and Veggie Soup
2 lbs ground beef
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 c chopped carrots
4 c chicken broth
1 25 oz jar pasta sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 t salt
1 T dried oregano
Parmesan rinds(you will take them out of the soup…they add a fabulous layer of flavor. Never throw them away!)
1 c chopped broccoli
1-2 c(to taste) small pasta(shells, elbow macaroni, or broken up spaghetti)
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
4 big handfuls fresh spinach
1/4 chopped fresh basil or 1 T dried basil
Such pretty colors!
Brown the ground beef over medium heat in a large pot. As it is browning, chop your vegetables to save time! When there is no pink left, drain the beef and put it in a bowl while you saute the vegetables. Don’t worry about scraping out the pot…the little bits of beef will brown deeper and add a lot of flavor. Just keep the heat to medium while you cook the vegetables
See the lovely little brown bits on the bottom of the pan! They will add a nice savory flavor.
Add the olive oil to the pan and toss in the onion, peppers, carrots, and garlic. Saute until the onion is transparent. I like to salt the veggies a little at this point.
It smells so good at this point!
When the veggies are done, put the ground beef back into the pot. Add the broth, pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, dried oregano, and if using dried basil and Parmesan rinds, add them in. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the broccoli and pasta and simmer for the cooking time on the pasta box. When pasta is cooked through, adjust the thickness of the broth by adding water until it is the way you like it! My kids like it a little thicker, so I added just a bit.
Your kids won’t even notice all the healthiness in this soup!
Add cubed cream cheese and spinach. The spinach will look like a lot, but will cook down to just the right amount! Stir this in until the spinach is cooked and the cream cheese is melted into the broth. Find the Parmesan pieces and throw them away. Taste for salt and add a little more if it needs it.
I am not a gardener, but hate paying the high price for fresh basil, so I grow some in pots on my deck. Pretty easy to grow!
If using fresh basil, sprinkle some on top of each bowl as you serve, and if you are feeling decadent, top with some fresh Parmesan too! This is great the next day for lunch, and if you cook the pasta separately, you can freeze the soup without the pasta to pull out for dinner anytime! Just boil a little pasta and add it in!