Your favorite soup from Olive Garden made at home in your slow cooker. White and red beans, ground beef, tomatoes and pasta in a savory broth.
- 1 lb ground beef
- Salt and pepper
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup shredded or diced carrots (I used 3 medium carrots)
- 1 cup diced celery (I used 3 celery ribs)
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp better than bouillon beef base
- 2 cups water
- 1 (15 oz) can light red kidney beans, with liquid
- 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, with liquid
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 6 oz ditalini pasta, uncooked
- Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Parsley, for garnish
- Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, lightly seasoning with salt & pepper. Add in the onions and garlic. Saute the onions until they are translucent. Drain excess grease and then add the meat to a large slow cooker.
- Add in the carrots, celery, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef base, water, red beans, great northern beans, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, thyme and apple juice.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Cook the pasta*(see my note below) according to directions on the package. Ladle the soup into bowls and then add in a handful of the pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Enjoy!
Usually I make Slow Cooker Pasta e Fagioli Soup with ditalini pasta. When I went to the store yesterday I couldn’t find any so I substituted with cellentani pasta. Either will work. In fact you can use plain old elbow macaroni noodles and that will work awesome too.
*The other thing you need to know about the pasta is that is soaks up a lot of liquid. The longer it sits the less it is like a soup and the more it is like a goulash. So this is what I propose…boil the pasta on the stove separately. Ladle a bowl of soup into a bowl and add the desired amount of pasta into your bowl. Keep the pasta and soup leftovers in different containers in your fridge and whenever you want soup add the cooked pasta right before eating. If you’re okay with it being less soup-like you can add the uncooked noodles straight to the slow cooker at the end of cooking time and let them cook in there for about a half hour. Just know the longer it sits the more and more bloated the pasta will get and the less broth there will be in the soup.
Can I halve the recipe?–yes. It’s kind of a pain in the booty to only use half a can of beans though. So what I would suggest is leaving out the Great Northern beans and just using one can of kidney beans. Also the crushed tomatoes I buy come in a large 28 oz can but I’m positive I’ve seen a 14 oz can before at the grocery store. Everything else is really easy to cut in half.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker