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Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup with Italian Sausage and Ground Beef

Slow Cooker Zucchini e Fagioli Soup with Italian Sausage and Ground Beef
  • Meal

    Main Dish

  • Cusine

    Italian

Ingredients

1 lb. lean ground beef

2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped carrots

one medium onion chopped small

1 T minced garlic

1 tsp. Italian Herb Blend

1 tsp. Spike Seasoning

1 tsp. ground fennel seed

1/2 tsp. ground red pepper flakes

1 can small red beans, rinsed in a colander and drained

7-8 cups beef broth

2 cans petite diced tomatoes

a few pieces of chopped Parmesan rind if you have them

1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini noodles

2 T balsamic vinegar

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Directions

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan (or in the Ninja Cooker), add the ground beef and Italian sausage and cook over medium-high heat until it’s nicely browned, breaking apart with a turner or potato masher (affiliate link) while it cooks.When it’s browned well, put the meat into the slow cooker.Add the other teaspoon of oil to the frying pan, add the carrots and onions, and cook about 3 minutes.Then add the minced garlic, Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), ground fennel, and red pepper flakes and cook about 2 minutes more.Add the vegetables to the slow cooker.Add the beef stock, petite diced tomatoes, and drained beans to the slow cooker, with some pieces of Parmesan rind if you’re lucky enough to have some.Cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 – 3 hours. (The Ninja cooks a little hot, so you might need a little more than 3 hours if you’re using a different slow cooker.)When the soup has cooked about 3 hours, make zucchini noodles using the method you prefer.Then coarsely chop the noodles until you have 1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini (or a bit more if you are omitting the beans or carrots.)Add zucchini to the soup and cook 30-45 minutes more, or until the zucchini is done to your liking.Remove the Parmesan rind if it hasn’t all dissolved.Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season soup to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. (Taste before salting if you use the Parmesan, because it’s a bit salty.)Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan to add at the table if desired.