The most interesting thing about this stew, suggested by longtime Scramble fan Michaela Bogner of Ellisville, Missouri, is that it uses refried beans to thicken the broth, rather than adding whole beans to make the soup chunkier.
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 4 stalks celery sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
- 2 carrots halved (or quartered if they are very large) and sliced
- 16 oz. Italian sausage (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), chopped, or use boneless beef or chicken or use canned white beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
- 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning or use a combination of basil and oregano
- 15 oz. refried beans (use low fat and/or vegetarian, if needed) (or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can), see link below for homemade directions
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 head green cabbage chopped
- 2 cups macaroni (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), or use 1 cup for a thinner stew
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
- Heat a large stockpot over medium heat, and add the oil. When it is hot, add the onions, celery, garlic, and carrots, and sauté them until the onions are translucent, 5 - 7 minutes.
- Add the sausage, beef, or chicken, if using, and brown for 1 - 2 minutes (if you are using white beans instead, add that after the macaroni becomes tender).
- Stir in the Italian seasoning, and when it is fragrant, stir in the refried beans, 8 cups of water, the tomatoes, and cabbage, and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer it, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the noodles to the pot, return the soup to a simmer, cover it, and cook it until the noodles are tender, 10 – 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Add the white beans to the soup, if using.
- Serve it immediately, seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper and topped with the Parmesan cheese, if desired. Alternatively, refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months, but note that the macaroni will absorb most of the liquid so add 1 – 2 cups of water or broth before serving to thin it.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Omit the oil. Add all the ingredients, including the 8 cups of water and except the macaroni and Parmesan cheese, to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. Add the macaroni and cook it for 30 more minutes, until the macaroni is tender. Top the stew with a dash of salt and pepper and topped with the Parmesan cheese, if desired. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the onion and the cabbage, slice the celery and the carrots, peel the garlic, make the refried beans if preparing your own, chop, brown, and refrigerate the sausage, beef, or chicken if you are using it, grate the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the soup. Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1 tsp. fresh parsley with the Italian seasoning, and serve the soup with freshly ground black pepper and/or hot sauce. Tip: Got leftover herbs in your garden or fridge? Instead of letting them go to waste, try chopping them, putting them into an ice cube tray, topping with olive oil, and then freezing. Once they are frozen you can pop them out into a freezer bag and store them to use in place of fresh herbs all fall and winter long. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 238, Total Fat: 5g, 7.5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 2.5%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 200mg, 8.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 41g, 13.5%; Dietary Fiber: 8g, 32%; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 9g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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