Mix all ingredients except pasta. Bring to a boil, cover lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. If adding pasta, do so after about 20 minutes cooking time. You can add more liquid if necessary.
If preparing in Crock Pot, mix all ingredients except pasta and cook on low for at least 6 hours. About 30 minutes before you are ready to serve, turn Crock Pot to high and add pasta. Broken Ramen noodles work really well.
To give soup a Southwestern taste, eliminate the sausage. Brown one pound ground meat, drain and mix in one package taco seasoning according to directions. Add the other ingredients and continue as above.
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