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I was obsessed with this meal growing up, always hassled my mom to make it!

Classic Beef Macaroni Soup: A Hearty Taste of Tradition

Nothing calls back to my childhood on the farm quite like a hearty bowl of Classic Beef Macaroni Soup. This dish harks back to those chilly evenings where comfort was found in the warmth of the kitchen and the laughter that filled it. Beef macaroni soup combines simple, humble ingredients into a nourishing meal that has fed generations of families, like mine. A warm bowl of this soup is perfect for anyone looking to recreate a taste of traditional Midwestern comfort or to provide a soothing, easy-to-make meal for their family on those brisk days.

This robust soup is a meal in itself but can be complemented wonderfully with a slice of crusty bread or a light garden salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette. For those who fancy a bit more, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan on top of the soup before serving adds a lovely depth of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

Directions

Step 1: Sauté the Aromatics

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until onions are tender and translucent.

Step 2: Brown the Beef

Add the ground beef to the pot. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it is browned and fully cooked.

Step 3: Add Broth and Tomatoes

Pour in the beef broth and add the undrained can of diced tomatoes. Stir in the dried oregano and basil, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Step 4: Simmer

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors together.

Step 5: Cook the Macaroni and Vegetables

Add the elbow macaroni and frozen mixed vegetables to the pot. Continue to simmer until the macaroni is tender, about 10 minutes.

Step 6: Final Seasoning and Serve

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, then serve hot.

Variations & Tips

Enhancing Flavor

  • Add Red Wine: For a richer soup, you might wish to add a splash of red wine with the beef broth.
  • Extra Hearty: Those looking for a more filling option can increase the amount of macaroni or add diced potatoes.
  • Lighter Version: To make this soup a little lighter, ground turkey can be used in place of beef.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Vegans and vegetarians can substitute the beef for a hearty plant-based alternative and use vegetable broth instead.
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Tips for the Perfect Soup

  • Fresh Herbs: If you have fresh herbs on hand, use them instead of dried for a brighter flavor.
  • Leftovers: This soup stores well in the refrigerator for up to three days. The macaroni may absorb some of the broth, so you might need to add a little more broth when reheating.
  • Freezing: To freeze, cook the soup without the macaroni. When you are ready to serve, reheat the soup and add freshly cooked macaroni.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use fresh vegetables instead of frozen?

Yes, you can use fresh vegetables. Simply add them along with the macaroni, allowing enough time for them to cook through.

What other pasta shapes can I use?

Feel free to use other small pasta shapes like ditalini, small shells, or even broken spaghetti.

Can this soup be made in a slow cooker?

Absolutely. Brown the beef and sauté the onions and garlic first, then transfer to a slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients, except the macaroni. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, adding the macaroni in the last 30 minutes.

How can I make this soup gluten-free?

To make this soup gluten-free, simply use gluten-free pasta and ensure your beef broth is gluten-free.

What if I don’t have beef broth?

You can substitute with chicken broth or vegetable broth, though it will slightly alter the flavor profile.

Classic Beef Macaroni Soup is a versatile and comforting dish that brings a touch of nostalgic warmth to any meal. Whether enjoyed on a cold winter night or as a hearty lunch, this soup is sure to become a family favorite. With these tips, variations, and answers to common questions, you’ll be well-equipped to create your own perfect bowl of this timeless soup.