Friday, January 20, 2012

Lasagna Soup

Pinterest strikes again!  I saw this and it looked interesting.  I must admit, I was skeptical.  Could a soup really taste like lasagna?  This soup is outstanding!  It truly is like lasagna in soup form.  The cheesy goodness in the bottom makes it.  Really, you only need a dollop, and maybe an ounce of cheese.  A little goes a long way!  It was described as an Italian version of chicken tortilla soup, and that is a very good description really.  The cheese melts and even with just a little in my bowl, I had cheese in every bite. Y-U-M!!!

I wanted to use sweet Italian sausage, but all they had at the store was hot.  It was just the right amount of heat for me.  If you or your family have a sensitive palette, you could substitute mild or sweet sausage and control the heat by adding red pepper flakes, which is in the original recipe anyway.  I omitted the red pepper flakes because I had hot sausage.

This soup was really quick to throw together.  I cut the onion while the sausage cooked, got the garlic ready while the onion softened, opened the cans while the garlic cooked, etc.  Make sure to have some good bread to go along with it.  We really love this soup!  I will definitely be making it again!

slightly adapted from:

for the soup:
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Hot Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 oz.(1/2 small can) tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 c. chicken stock (1 1/2 boxes)
  • 8 oz. mafalda, campanelle or fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the cheesy yum:
  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese (I used fresh grated)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and oregano. 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.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 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 and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
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.

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