Italian Soup

Who doesn’t love a little soup in the cold of winter?  One of my secret missions as a mom is to help my kids to enjoy a hearty helping of soup.  Simple nutrition with lots of veggies!  As the recipes for the soups we make are quite flexible and forgiving, it is definitely a meal they can “help” me make.


Italian Soup, just waiting in the crockpot


Another thought on soup — have you considered it for brunch?  The MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group that I help lead recently had it’s annual Christmas brunch and soup was served.  It was a hit!  It immediately made the morning unique as we jumped outside of the realm of egg-bakes.


You MUST garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese!

Now…as a dairy farmer, it would be just plain weird for me not to have a dairy product in a recipe I publish!  This recipe doesn’t necessarily call for cheese, but you would certainly be remiss to leave it out.  This Italian Soup absolutely must be garnished with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  It takes it from ordinary to extraordinary, for sure.


Italian Soup

1 pound ground beef

1 onion

4 carrots

4 stalks celery

4 cloves garlic

2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes

1 15 oz. can kidney beans (with liquid)

1 15 oz. can Great Northern Beans (with liquid)

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

2 6 oz. cans V8

1 T. vinegar

1 t. dried oregano

1 t. pepper

1/2 t. thyme

8 oz. pasta (any small shape you like)

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Brown hamburger with diced onion, carrot, celery and minced garlic.  While you wait, combine remaining ingredients in crock pot.  Then, add hamburger mixture (onions and celery should be transparent).  Keep on low at least until warmed thoroughly, about 2 hours.  10 minutes before serving, cook pasta in boiling water until just tender.  Drain.  Add to soup and heat for an additional few minutes.

Is it possible to name something Italian Soup, and then not have pasta in it?   I find the pasta to be completely optional in this soup.

Enjoy!!  Make your kids eat at least a bowl full if they want a milkshake for dessert!


Grandpa and Grandpa Vander Kooi with most of the cousins before the Fulda Light Parade.


One of the joys of Minnesota winters is a cute hat!


Need more inspiration? Check out some of these below! They are sure to lead you to a DairyChristmas!



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