Olive Garden Knockoff: Pasta Fagioli Soup (in the Crock Pot!)

crock pot pasta fagioli soup_small

Do you have a secret chain-restaurant love affair? I do. I adore me some good ol’ suburban-strip-mall Olive Garden. I don’t go very often (because apparently 100,000 other people have the same love affair and they flock to the OG every single weekend), but when I do…watch out. I may have set the world record for unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. I can put that stuff down.

This is a pretty close second to the Olive Garden’s pasta fagioli soup. (I say second not because of taste — this one does taste like OG’s version — but because I prefer when someone else does the cooking for me.) But this one requires amazingly little effort (can you dump and stir?) but simmers up into something warm and wonderful.

This makes a lot of soup, kids. Hope you’re hungry!

p.s. You can absolutely add meat to this. Just take out a can of beans and add about 3/4 pound of browned ground beef or turkey. Also, I buy lower sodium beans, tomatoes and broth and add more salt as needed.

Olive Garden Knockoff: Pasta Fagioli Soup (in the Crock Pot!)

Olive Garden Knockoff: Pasta Fagioli Soup (in the Crock Pot!)

Ingredients

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 cup carrots, sliced about 1/4" thick

2 celery stalks, sliced about 1/4" thick

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (16 oz.) pinto peans, drained and rinsed

1 can (16 oz.) white Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (and juice)

1 jar (26-ounce) pasta sauce

4-6 cups beef broth (start with 4; add more at the end if you like a thinner soup)

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, more to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2/3 cup dry elbow pasta, to add at end of cooking time

Instructions

Use a 6 quart or larger crockpot, or cut the recipe in half. This serves 8-10 people with hearty bowls.

Chop up the onion, carrots and celery. Add it to the empty crockpot. Add garlic.

Drain and rinse the beans, and add them. Add the whole cans of tomatoes (with juices), and the pasta sauce. Add the beef broth. Add the oregano, Tabasco sauce, garlic salt and pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or high for 3. When the vegetables are tender, stir in the 2/3 cup of dry pasta. Cover and cook for another 30 min to 1 hour on low, or until the pasta is tender. It will swell quite a bit.

If you like your soup thinner, add more broth before serving. Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese if you have it.

adapted from Crockpot 365

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