Hello everyone! We are finally back and starting to get settled in our new home. But I must say, it’s been a journey and a half! Packing, moving, painting, moving again, and unpacking, all with three children under 4 years of age is, well I’ll just say it, it’s hard!
I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about, because moving in general is difficult..adding three little darlings who all want to cry, sleep, eat, play, and be held at different times of the day tends to slow things down on the productivity side, but I’m happy to say we survived, and in the end it was worth it! We’ll also be posting some easy inexpensive remodeling kitchen ideas that we have done so far in our new place and I must say, we LOVE the results! So stay tuned for that! Now, on to the recipe!
This has become one of my all-time favorite soups! It is so easy to throw together with simple and basic ingredients, yet maintains rich and hearty flavors! I love making it through the winter months but I try and throw it in every chance I get (i.e. Spring and Summertime rain storm days, cloudy days, cold basement days-which technically is everyday, or when someone is feeling under the weather!) It really can be made all through the year, and with how much we love it, I do just that, I don’t fight it anymore. 😉
This soup can be made gluten-free by leaving the pasta out, but as it is, you can add the pasta individually to each bowl depending on who wants it or not. I discovered that mixing the pasta into the soup even if the pasta is already cooked causes the pasta to continue absorbing all of the liquid in the soup, leaving you with, well.. not soup.
So I highly encourage you to cook the pasta separate and leave it out until just before serving, and then add it to each bowl as needed. This is a nice little trick that we use with the Carrabba’s Sicilian Chicken Soup Recipe as well. I also store any leftover separate too.
This recipe is easy to convert into a crockpot meal as well which I’ll include in the notes below; and the nice thing is that it makes your home smell amazing!! I made this soup one night (while in transition, as we stayed with my in-laws), and my mother-in-law had a number of her music students comment on how good dinner smelled. Always a nice compliment! No doubt you’ll have the same…and then if you happen to throw in some homemade rolls with their amazing aromas…oh heavens! You may just have the neighbors knocking on your door asking to join you for dinner! So watch out!
What are your favorite things to cook that make your home smell amazing?
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes (I like using petite diced)
- 1 can (14 ounce) tomato sauce
- 3 cups beef stock or beef broth (I have also used chicken stock in this and it still tastes great!)*
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2-3 medium red or yellow potatoes, diced (I cut the potatoes into bigger chunks when I make this in the crock pot-see notes below)
- 1-2 teaspoons of salt, or more to taste (We add 2 teaspoons of sea salt and that's just right for us!)*
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning (or a mixture of Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary, and Sage-if you don't have these, just use 1 tsp of Oregano).
- 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey (if using honey you may need to use a little more to reduce the tartness from the tomatoes)
- 2 cups (dry) salad macaroni noodles (Optional-cook separate! See notes below!)
- In a large pot over medium high heat, brown hamburger with the onion and minced garlic. Remove from heat and drain off as much fat as you can (discard fat once it cools).
- Return pot to the heat and add the rest of the ingredients, except pasta. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover the pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- While the soup is cooking, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Once it's done, drain the water and set aside. (You can drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of oil over the pasta and gently mix it to keep it from sticking.)
- Once soup is ready, spoon into bowls, and add approximately 1/4 cup of cooked noodles to each bowl and mix in. This keeps the noodles from soaking up all of the broth or from getting overly cooked or mushy by sitting in the soup too long. Serve with warm rolls.
- *You can use beef or chicken bullion in place of the stock if you are out. I like using Better than Bullion. If you use canned beef or chicken broth that contains salt, you may want to reduce or skip the salt that I add here.
- For a crock pot meal: Brown the hamburger, onions, and garlic in a frying pan, drain the fat, then put it into the crock pot along with all the other ingredients (except the pasta). Prepare and serve the pasta as explained above.
- For a freezer meal: Brown the hamburger, onions, and garlic in a frying pan, drain the fat, then put it into a large freezer ziplock bag along with all the other ingredients (except the pasta). Label the bag with preparation instructions. Prepare the pasta separately as you would in the original recipe.