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Hearty Pasta Soup

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Millie Kirchoff | Nueces EC

For a broth with a deeper flavor, use fire-roasted tomatoes and simmer with a Parmesan rind (discard before serving).

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 small red onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced (about 1 cup)
3 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
2–3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced or crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (12 ounces) V-8 Spicy Hot vegetable juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and parsley
1/2 teaspoon each black pepper and dried thyme
2 cups beef, chicken stock or water
8 ounces ditalini or other small shape pasta
Shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving
Crusty bread, for serving

1. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and brown the ground meat over medium-high heat. Drain excess fat, if desired.

2. Add the remaining olive oil and the onion, carrot, celery and garlic, and sauté 2–3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except pasta and simmer 30–40 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente, then drain and briefly rinse.

4. Add pasta to the soup pot, plus additional broth or water for desired consistency. Simmer an additional 8–10 minutes.

5. Adjust seasonings as desired and serve with shredded Parmesan and crusty bread.

Serves 6–8.

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