If you’re in the mood for soup (to warm you up on an icy winter day, natch) but not in the mood for an expensive, time consuming, heavy stew, then consider this super simple (and budget conscious) soup that is a hit with kids and adults alike. We like to make it a bit healthier (not that it isn’t well-balanced already) by using lean ground beef or ground turkey and protein-enriched pasta (like Barilla Plus). I’m sure Italian sausage (sweet or hot, chicken or pork) would work just as well in this recipe. We also like to grate fresh Parmesan into it. Consider this one of those recipes that is a template, and adjust it to your own family’s tastes.
Beefy Tomato Pasta Soup
recipe courtesy Quick Cooking magazine
1 lb. ground beef
2 medium green peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium onions, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 to 6 cups water
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 to 3 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, green peppers and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Add the water, tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add pasta.
Cook for 10-14 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with croutons if desired. Yield: 10 servings (about 2-1/2 quarts).
Nutritional Analysis: One 1-cup serving (prepared with lean ground beef; calculated without croutons) equals 207 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 17 mg cholesterol, 718 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 13 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 meat.