March 13, 2013

Lasagna Soup

I was a little skeptical of this recipe, not sure why, but it was fabulous!!!  So good! 
I only made minor changes because I didn't have red pepper flakes or fresh basil.  You can see my substitutes below.  Also, next time I think I will double the recipe (or triple it?) and just freeze the extra portions for dinners on another date. (minus the noodles because they absorb all the liquid)
I hate when recipes only use a part of a can of something.  This recipe leaves a lot of tomato paste left, so you have to plan ahead and use it for something else, but usually most people end up throwing away a half a can of something they have stuck in their fridge to use another time.  I actually think you could freeze tomato paste...  Hmmm... I never thought of that before...  So, maybe freeze 2 T. portions of it to use for this recipe at another time.
Lasagna Soup Recipe
Recipe from HERE 
    for the soup:
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
  • 3 c. chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper)
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta (I used garden rotini)
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves (I used 2 T. dried basil)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    for the cheesy surprise:
  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
    additional cheese for garnishing and added yumminess:
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1.  Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes.

2.  Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, basil (if using dried) and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
3.  Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

4.  Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil (if using fresh) and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5.  While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
6.  To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.
7.  Enjoy!

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