I had promised to post mine. Sorry it took a couple of days. This makes a ton....
3 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
4-6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarsely ground
8 (14.5 ounce) cans beef consomme
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 cups ditalini pasta
1 can each of kidney
beans and great northern beans, drained and rinsed (if DH is on South Beach, I omit the pasta and double the beans)
1 In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until no
longer pink. Drain and set aside.
2 In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Cook onion,
celery, garlic and black pepper until vegetables are tender,
10 minutes. Stir in beef consomme, crushed tomatoes and
tomato paste. Season with thyme, basil, oregano and parsley.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. (At this point, you
may put the pot on a back burner to keep warm and continue
with the next steps about 1 hour prior to serving, if you wish.)
3 Stir in the beef and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the
pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the
beans and heat through, 10 to 15 minutes.
If soup gets too thick, thin with extra broth. Gets better with longer cooking and reheatings!