Soup, Glorious Soup

Recipes - A Cup of Kathy

Ah, winter in New England. Frigid temperatures, icy weather conditions, dull skies, bouts of snow shoveling and the disruption and rescheduling of plans have me yearning for a heaping helping of comfort food.

And one of this family’s favorite winter comfort foods is a hearty soup that warms the soul and the tummy. Recent temperatures hovering at 14 degrees Fahrenheit make for optimum weather for a wholesome and substantial meal of a steaming bowl of soup and a large piece of crusty baguette.

After checking the pantry and finding elbow macaroni, beef broth, dark red kidney beans, petite diced tomatoes and diced potatoes, inspiration hit and I was off to the races. Well, I was really off to the fridge to look for more ingredients for my warming pot of comfort.

Success. I found ground beef, an onion and grated Parmesan. I always have a large stock of herbs on hand, so I had everything I needed to start cooking.


  • 1 lb. ground beef (I had 85% lean beef on hand)
  • 2 cups of uncooked elbow pasta
  • 1 can diced potatoes, drained and rinsed (I used no added salt diced potatoes)
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used no added salt dark red kidney beans)
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained (I used no salt added petite diced tomatoes)
  • 1 large onion, diced (we like onion; adjust to your liking)
  • 32 oz. beef broth (I used 50% less sodium beef broth)
  • Minced garlic (I found 1 tsp to be enough for us)
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • Dried parsley flakes to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to taste


  • Brown the beef, garlic, parsley and onion in a Dutch oven (which I used) or stock pot. I also used my Zing to make browning the beef very easy. I’ve previously blogged about my fondness for my Zing. Make sure the beef is well browned. I used a baster to remove the fat.
  • Add in the broth, potatoes, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Stir. Heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and stir well. I cooked for 10 minutes over medium heat; you can adjust the cooking time to how you like your pasta. Stir in cheese and serve.

My Recipe Notes

  • Substitute lean ground turkey for the beef.
  • Substitute ditalini or small shells for the elbows.
  • Substitute light red kidney beans, black beans, or pinto beans for the dark red kidney beans.
  • Substitute diced tomatoes instead of petite diced tomatoes if you like larger tomato chunks.
  • I’m partial to Rosemary and basil, so I topped my bowl with both herbs.
  • I had a second 32 oz. container of 50% reduced-sodium beef broth on hand because the pasta likes to absorb the broth.
  • We don’t like or use canned vegetables. If I can’t buy them fresh, I buy frozen.

Next time, I’ll steam a bag of mixed vegetables or a bag of corn and add it in with the broth, etc.

If you’d rather make chicken soup, use chicken broth and browned ground chicken or diced chicken. Skip the tomatoes; add in steamed mixed vegetables, corn or green beans as well as kidney beans and potatoes.

Do you have a favorite soup for the winter months? 

Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

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