Lasagna Soup

lasagnasoup3

I have quite the love affair with both soup and lasagna. (My husband is fully aware of these ongoing affairs and he’s cool with it.) Even though my lasagna love is strong, I don’t always have the motivation or time to make it. So I improvise. Case in point, lazy ravioli lasagna,  individual spaghetti squash lasagnas, and now this delicious lasagna soup.

One of the main pluses of this dish, other than that ricotta cheese, is that the noodles are cooked on the side. Thus, you can add as much or as little pasta to your bowl as you want. Works for the portion controllers and the carb cravers. Also, with the pasta on the side, soup leftovers are plentiful. You know those soggy noodles in left over soups? Not happening here.

Beautiful and delicious. I love it.

lasagnasoup1

lasagnasoup2

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs. mild Italian chicken sausage (pork sausage can also be used)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you prefer spicy)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, I used a combo of basil and parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ricotta Cheese Mixture:

  • 8oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Toppings:

  • 1lb. fusilli pasta cooked, drained, rinsed, and tossed with 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, I used a combo of basil and parsley

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add Italian sausage, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, and brown until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and red bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 additional minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate and cook for 2 additional minutes.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the fresh herbs and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  3. While soup is simmering, cooking the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, toss with olive oil, and reserve. Also prepare the ricotta cheese topping. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
  4. To serve, ladle soup into a large bowl, and add 1/2 -1 cup cooked fusilli, a dollop of the fresh ricotta cheese mixture, a sprinkle of mozzarella and Parmesan, and some fresh herbs.
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