When we were in the States last winter we stopped in at a little place on the I-15 that we have driven by countless times. Oh, don’t ask me where or what it’s called, but it’s a rest stop that has a small little town by it. I would know it to look at it and while we always stop to stretch our legs, we’ve never eaten at the small roadside restaurant. Until this last trip, that is.
While everything on the menu was nice, not fancy, just a decent clubhouse and salad, the soup of the day reminded me of one of my very favorite, old fashioned soups that I hadn’t eaten in years.
I forgot how much I love a Beef and Tomato Macaroni Soup. Oh man, is it ever one of my favorites! It has been on my list to make ever since then – which was way back in January.
I rarely make soup that’s not in a crockpot. I think that most soups are improved by letting them simmer all day, the flavorings melding together in ways that a quick 20 minute simmer just doesn’t achieve. Plus you have that little happy thought in your head all day long that your dinner is going to be just amazing when you get home! Doesn’t it make a difference in your mood, knowing that you have a hot, delicious supper waiting for you? I think that’s why I love my crockpot so much.
What I love about this method is that you pre-cook the noodles (morning of, day before, it doesn’t matter) and then you add them in at the end of the day, just long enough to heat them up. The soup simmers all day long if you want, then when you come home, you have it waiting for you. Just add the pre-made noodles and there’s dinner!
This is truly a comfort food. The day I made this Mike was sick with a cold, tired and achy and it literally made his day to have some of this soup. It was also a snowy day, which always makes me pull out the crockpot and clear a permanent space on the counter for it. It won’t leave the counter again until spring now!
My biggest suggestion for this recipe is to drain and rinse the ground beef. You can see that this soup has a bit of grease in it (and oh…that is what makes it so lovely!) but a lot of recipes don’t even have you drain it. I’m going to go ahead and say eeewwww to that. I’m such a pro.
The stronger the beef broth the more beefy your soup will end up and a little extra Worcestershire sauce helps with that as well! I prefer adding in dry macaroni 30 minutes before serving but if you are in a time crunch at the end of the day, pre-cook and then add the pasta in.
Can I tell you a secret?
The whole blinkin’ family ate this.
I am astonished. I cannot believe my daughter ate this. Loved this. Ate it for lunch the next day. Needless to say this is definitely on THE ROTATION list. I wrote that in caps because that is the really important list, the list where we all love a dish, it’s easy to make, not too unhealthy and saves my sanity.
It’s sadly a really, really short list with my picky eaters.
I really hope you give this classic a whirl!
Happy cooking everyone!
Love you more than THE ROTATION list,
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups very strong beef broth
- 1- 28 ounce can Chopped Tomatoes
- 1- 28 ounce can whole Tomatoes
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (to taste, if you have a sweeter ketchup you may not need it)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 cups cooked elbow macaroni OR 2 cups dry macaroni to add in at the end
- salt and pepper, as desired
- In a medium frying pan, brown the ground beef, onion and garlic until ground beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease (I also like to rinse it with hot water to remove most of the grease) and place in a large crockpot.
- Add the broth, cans of chopped and whole tomatoes, Worcestershire, brown sugar (if wanted) and Italian seasoning. Add more sugar and Worcestershire to taste if needed. Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- When you are ready to serve, either add the dry macaroni and let cook for 20-25 minutes OR add cooked macaroni. Let the macaroni heat through and serve!