One of my friends gave me a copy of this recipe a long time ago and I finally tried it. I don’t think I’ve actually tried this at Olive Garden and I couldn’t now, but it was a nice and easy soup that warmed us up on cold days. You have the option of using canned or dried beans. I couldn’t find navy beans in a can and I have two crockpots, so I used dried beans. I hope you take time to enjoy this recipe!
3/4 c. dry kidney beans (or 1 can, drained)
3/4 c. dry navy beans (or 1 can, drained)
2 lbs ground beef, cooked- leave out beef if you want it to be vegetarian
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
32 oz beef broth (I used a carton of HEB Beef Broth but you could also use Swansons)- use vegetable broth if vegetarian
3 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp pepper
5 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used a 24-oz can of Del Monte Traditional)
8-12 oz pasta (I used HEB gluten free)
If making beans from scratch, soak overnight and then drain and cover with water again in a crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until soft. You may add them to the soup whenever they are soft enough. Pre-cook the ground beef. Add all ingredients to the crockpot except for the pasta. Stir well, cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours. The original recipe says you can add pasta straight to the crockpot 30 minutes before you want to serve it, but I was nervous the gluten free pasta wouldn’t cook well that way. Instead, I cooked it separately as per the package directions and then added it to the soup right before serving.
Note: I had two crockpots going at once- one for the beans and one for the soup. When the beans were cooked, I added them to the soup. If you only have one crockpot, you could cook the beans overnight and then use the same crockpot to do the soup during the day.