In typical western Pennsylvania fashion, our weather can’t seem to make up its mind. Last week I was miserably scraping the frost from my windshield, while today I headed out the door in only a hoodie. (Well, plus pants. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea…). Even if we won’t be having a white Christmas this year, I am still craving the comfort that a warm bowl of soup brings to a blustery cold day.
This lasagna soup combines all things I love about that cheesy casserole and transforms it into an incredibly tasty soup. Thick noodles combined with some spicy Italian sausage and fire roasted tomatoes, poured over a mound of gooey cheesy yum makes this soup taste just like lasagna. Nothing beats curling up on the couch with a bowl of lasagna soup and watching snow (or sleet or rain…) fall outside.
Yields: 8 servings
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
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 broken lasagna noodles)
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
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, 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.
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. Stir in 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 until well combined.
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.
Source: A Farmgirl’s Dabbles