Ground Beef and Pasta Soup

3 tablespoons margarine
1 large onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
3 ribs celery diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
One 48-ounce can tomato juice
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice, chopped
Two 10.5-ounce cans Campbell's beef consomme soup
1/4 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
1 or 2 pounds pasta shells or elbow macaroni (noodles can be used instead)
3 pounds ground sirloin
Salt and red pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

Saute onions, green pepper, celery and garlic until onions are wilted. Add tomato paste and fry until oil comes to the surface. Add tomato juice, whole tomatoes and juice, beef consomme, ketchup and bay leaves. Bring to boil, turn low and let cook for 1 hour. Add water if soup gets too thick. Cook pasta until firm, rinse in cold water, cover and set aside. Season ground meat with salt and pepper and fry until redness leaves meat, breaking as you fry. Drain grease from meat if needed. Add meat to soup along with parsley and simmer another half hour. Remove bay leaves. Serve one cup soup mixture in bowl and add the pasta according to how thick you like your soup. Soup freezes well without pasta.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana