Lasagna Soup

I haven’t made this one in a while, but now that its getting colder (well… As cold as it can in FL!), soup seemed like a good choice. This is fairly simple to make, just takes a little “simmering” time. As the name states, its the soup version of lasagna. Tomato-y, cheesy, pasta, and Italian sausage goodness, in an easy to eat – bowl in one hand, spoon in another fashion. Plus, its a one-pot meal!

I use mild Italian sausage because hubs isn’t big on spicy, and I cut back the red chili flakes to 1/4 tsp. I also use low fat ricotta and shredded mozzarella. For the broth I do half regular chicken broth and half low sodium. This recipe makes A LOT so its a good one to make if you’re expecting company.

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Lasagna Soup
Serves 8

Ingredients:

For the soup:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage, mild or hot
1 white onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (with liquid)
2 bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth
8 ounces fusilli pasta (or any spiral)
1/2 cup, fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the cheesy payload:
8 ounces low fat ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded low fat mozzarella cheese

Method:

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Remove sausage from casing break into bite-sized pieces in the hot pot. Brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute, then add tomato paste, and stir well to incorporate. Cook until tomato paste begins to brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken broth, and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered, about 30 minutes.

White the soup is simmering make the cheesy payload. In a bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and pepper. Mix well. Set aside until ready to eat.

After 30 Min, add uncooked pasta directly to soup and cook about a minute less than package directions (the pasta will continue to cook a bit in the soup after you remove it from heat). Don’t let the soup continue to simmer or cook, or the pasta will become overcooked. Stir in fresh basil, and adjust salt and pepper, to taste.

To serve:

Scoop a dollop (a big, rounded soup spoonful) of the cheesy payload into an empty soup bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of shredded mozzarella. Ladle hot soup over ricotta mixture, and finish with another light sprinkle of mozzarella, as well as some more chopped basil, to garnish. Serve immediately.

Assembly:
The cheesy payload.
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Dollop a spoonful in the bottom of each bowl.
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Sprinkle a little shredded mozzarella on top.
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Top with the soup.
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Top with more mozzarella and some fresh basil. Enjoy!
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