Hearty Minestrone Recipe

Hearty Minestrone Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground pork
  2. 1/2 cup chopped celery
  3. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  4. 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  5. 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  6. 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  7. 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  8. 2 cups tomato juice
  9. 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  10. 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  11. 3 medium carrots, chopped
  12. 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  13. 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  14. 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  15. 1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
  16. 1/8 teaspoon pepper
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS (for each batch)
  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1 cup uncooked ziti or small tube pasta
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven, cook the pork, celery and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato juice, tomato sauce, broth, carrots, zucchini, Italian seasoning, salt, sugar if desired and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  3. Transfer 6 cups of soup to a freezer container; cool. Freeze for up to 3 months. Add water and pasta to remaining soup; bring to a boil. Cover and cook until pasta is tender.
  4. To use frozen soup: Thaw in the refrigerator; transfer to a large saucepan. Stir in water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Add pasta; cover and cook until tender. Yield: 2 batches (6 servings each).
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