This recipe uses my Meat Sauce of Ground Beef & Sausage http://newmomstartingfromscratch.blogspot.com/2012/03/meat-sauce-with-ground-beef-and-sausage.html to make this Leftover Hearty Meat Minestrone Soup.This soup is basically inspired by Minestrone Soup, but not a true Minestrone Soup. Now you don't need to use my leftover meat sauce recipe to make this soup, I am sure the idea will work with whatever you have, even if it is a jar of prepared sauce. However, my meat sauce has ingredients that don't require you to add ingredients to this soup recipe (also allowing to cut cost) so if you make this version I don't want you to be disappointed if your version seems to be missing something, but don't be afraid to try it with what you have!
3 cups of Leftover Meat Sauce
2 Carrots diced
2 Celery Sticks diced
1 small onion diced
2 cups of Beef Stock
1 15oz can of White Kidney Beans or called Cannellini OR Dark Kidney Beans
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1 Zucchini diced
1/4 cup of frozen green beans
1/4 cup chopped frozen spinach.
1 cup of cooked macaroni noodles (cook separately from soup, or use whatever leftovers you have)
Some other ingredients you could add to this soup, depending on your taste buds is.... If you want a vinegar salty depth add 1/4 cup of sliced Green Olives, or add 1 tablespoon of Capers. If you want some extra heat add a pinch or 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes depending on your heat preference. Or use 1 tablespoon of pickled/jar sliced jalapenos, this will also give heat and add some vinegar saltiness.
Depending on what you have on hand this Soup should cost you less then $5 and equal about 8-10 servings. You get a lot of bang for you buck when you use my Meat Sauce recipe.
Saute your onions, carrots and celery all together with a dash of oil in pan. Let saute on a medium temperature for 5 min, then add Worcestershire Sauce and let simmer for 2 mins or until liquid seems reduced into onion mixture. Then add everything else but the pasta, zucchini, spinach and green beans. If you are using fresh green beans and not frozen you could add now.
Now I let my soup cook for 4 hrs on a very low temperature, you don't need to cook it that long. I think 2 hours is plenty! Even if you only cooked for 30min to 1 hour, that should be fine. However if you are doing a short cook, add everything at once (but noodles) and don't hold back. Do not add salt or pepper until you taste it, may not need it. Depending on how long you choose to cook soup, just wait to the last hour to add the frozen green beans, zucchini and spinach.