I made the recipe as listed except for a few things. Here's what I did differently and why.
1) I used sour cream instead of cream cheese because I had sour cream I needed to finish off and didn't have cream cheese. Another tester at Pinterest said she just used whatever cheese she had in her fridge. I don't think the cheese matters much, other than to give it a bit creamier texture. A half cup of any kind of cheese isn't going to alter a large pot of soup all that much one way or another.
2) I added extra liquids along the way. Since testers said the pasta will soak up the liquid mostly and turn this more into a goulash if you're eating leftovers, I added a little extra chicken stock and water.
3) I tossed in a can of kidney beans. Needed to use them up, they seemed ideal for a hearty soup like this. I also included all the liquid in the can.
4) I added a can of Italian herbed diced tomatoes. More liquid.
5) Added a few extra spices along the way since I was adding so much extra liquid. Extra basil and oregano and a little thyme, I also added about a 1/4 teaspoon of Garlic Pepper Seasoning. This is a seasoning mix I made a few weeks ago with the recipe at the link.
6) I used rigatoni, again because I had it on hand and needed to use it up. I added at least two cups because it seemed like I could with all the extra liquid I added, but in the end after it had cooled off it did look more like golash than soup but tasty all the same. You can rehydrate it with a little stock, tomato juice or even a touch of water when you eat the leftovers - or just eat it as more of a pasta dish than soup.
Next time I am going to add a cut up carrot and probably a zucchini if I have one on hand. With all my alterations it's becoming more of a Minestrone but simple or with additions it's tasty just the same.
This soup turned out exactly as I expected it would and was quite tasty. I made it on Saturday April 29th and the family ate it right up and it went well with the hot homemade rolls while we watched it snow outside and joked about singing some Christmas carols and what a fine December we were having. Would gladly recommend this recipe! Let me know if you try it.