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#Sunrise Soup Time! Rena's Pasta E Fagioli

With a plunge in temps due this weekend, why not whip up a batch of this easy, hot and hearty soup to warm things up a bit?

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Winter and soup go together like... well... a hat and gloves. Sitting down to a big bowl of something hot and hearty can fix almost anything that ails you. 

This week on Sunrise we've had KARE 11 staffers whipping up their favorite soups, and today it's Rena's turn. A recipe based on Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli is her go-to for family, friends, and whoever happens to be sick or struggling. She says it's both easy, and delicious. 

Here's how to make it. 


  • Ground beef. Use at least 80% lean ground beef. You can also try it with half Italian sausage.
  • Olive oil. This is used for sauteing the veggies so you won’t need much.
  • Yellow onion, carrots, celery, garlic and parsley. These fresh vegetables add layers of flavor.
  • Canned tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, great northern beans, and low-sodium chicken broth. These canned ingredients make this a weeknight friendly recipe cutting way down on prep.
  • Sugar. This very small amount just balances the acidity of the canned tomatoes. If preferred you can omit it.
  • Dried oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram. If you don’t have all the different dried herbs then you can just use an Italian seasoning blend. Use 1 Tbsp.
  • Ditalini pasta. In a pinch another small pasta will work fine here like macaroni or even orzo.
  • Parmesan cheese. Shredded Romano will work great too.


  1. Cook beef in a pot, drain and transfer beef.
  2. Saute veggies in same pot.
  3. Add broth, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, sugar, dried herbs and beef.
  4. Simmer until veggies are tender.
  5. Cook ditalini.
  6. Add pasta and beans to soup warm briefly then stir in parsley.

If you'd rather whip it up in a crockpot, that's OK too. 

  1. Saute beef then add to crock pot. Saute onion then garlic and add to crock pot.
  2. Add remaining ingredients up to and including salt and pepper.
  3. Cook on low heat 4 hours. Cook pasta separately on stovetop near the end of cooking.
  4. Add beans and parsley to soup and serve warm.

Rena says Pasta E Fagioli soup freezes really well too!

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