Cheap Eats >> Minestrone Soup
2 Quarts Beef Broth
2 Pints Tomatoes, undrained -or- 2 14.5-oz canned Tomatoes
2 14.5-oz Beans, drained and rinsed - Use one can red beans (Kidney, Small Red Beans, etc.) and one can white beans (Cannelini, Pinto, Navy, etc.)
2-3 Carrots, sliced
1 Cup Diced Celery
1 1/2 Cup Shredded Cabbage
16-20- oz. Meat, cooked - Italian Sausage, sliced or bulk -or- Ground Beef -or- Ground Turkey
1 Cup Small Shell Pasta
3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
and the Magic Ingredient: 1 7-oz tub Pesto -or- 3/4 Cup Pesto
Extra Parmesan for serving
Mix all ingredients except the Shell Pasta, Parmesan Cheese, and Pesto. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Fifteen minutes before serving, stir in the remaining ingredients. If too thick, thin with up to 2 cups additional Beef broth. Serve hot with extra Parmesan. Serves 10.
Other vegetables can be added: Garbanzo Beans, Split Peas, Lentils, Green Beans, Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Cauliflower. It just so happens that the only Cauliflower we had ready in the garden was the purple variety. Yes, it does look rather odd in the soup.