This soup came out so damn good and it is pretty easy to make. I think I used 3 total pots but in reality probably only used one if I cooked the pasta and ground beef first. There are plenty of veggies in this soup and not a lot of fat. I wasn't as happy with the canned tomatoes so I also chopped up a fresh tomato and added it in the soup. I know summer is around the corner and a hot steaming bowl of soup might not sound good, but it is worth it!! We had this for dinner with a grilled cheese sandwich! YUM!!
4 slices bacon
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 pound ground beef
1 cup minced celery
1 cup cubed carrots
1 cup tomato puree
1 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes - I used whole tomatos instead
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth- used Beef Consume
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion - couldn't find this used regular French Onion soup
4-5 cups water
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 cups spinach, rinsed and sliced
1 cup uncooked spinach pasta
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained - didn't use these
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1. In a large stock pot, cook bacon and drain off fat. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. After a about 5 minutes, add in the zucchini and spinach. When onions are translucent, add pureed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, broth, condensed soup, 4 cups of water, wine, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes (I cooked it for about 25 minutes).
2. You can do the beef two different ways.... You can cook it with the onion/celery/carrot mixture and crumble it up. Or you can make mini-meatballs (an inch in size), cook them in a separate pan, and add them when you add the liquids. I like the meatball idea better because it looks a little nicer in the soup and it makes it easier to have a balanced bowl of soup (equal amounts of meat/veggies/liquid). Normally when you add ground beef in soups, it settles in the bottom of the soup.
Stir in pasta, garbanzo beans and parsley. Cook for 15 minutes and serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.
I didn't add all of the water at once because I wanted to contol how watery my soup was. I probaby used 4 1/2 cups of water.