8cupsbeef stock or 8 cups water plus 3 tablespoons beef base
15ouncecan tomato sauce
6carrotssliced 1/4" thick, about 3 cups worth
4stalks celerytrimmed and sliced 1/4" thick, about 2 cups worth
14ouncecan kidney beans
14ouncecan navy beans or white beans
14ouncecan black beans
1teaspoonkosher saltadjust to taste (I added another 1/2 teaspoon, because my beef stock wasn't very salty at all)
1/2teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
4cupscooked pastaI used a brown rice penne pasta
finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Optional: 1 pound Italian or hot sausage
Place the oil in a large pot on the stove over medium heat.* Add the onions, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and saute until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the beef stock, tomato sauce, beans, carrots, celery and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then cook for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Cook the pasta while the soup is simmering. Place a scoop of cooked pasta in each bowl and then ladle the hot soup over the pasta. Top with Parmesan just before serving. Enjoy!
If you are including meat in the soup, start by cooking and crumbling the meat and then skip the oil and add the onions. I like to keep the pasta and the soup separate until I serve it. This way the pasta doesn't have a chance of overcooking.FREEZER TIP: I typically do not include the pasta when freezing the soup, but it will work either way. Let the soup cool completely and then transfer to freezer safe containers. Thaw and reheat in the microwave or on the stove-top.