Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lasagna Soup

Another Pinterest find! This one I consider fully dumped in the "score!" category. It. was. awesome. What makes this recipe stand out, by far, is the "cheesy yum" (the original recipe creator's term, not mine - but isn't it fun to say? cheesy yum, cheesy yum.) at the bottom of the bowl. It really does make the soup taste like lasagna.

I'll be making one big change next time I make it, though. The red pepper flakes have got to go. Even just a teeny little half teaspoon made this sucker spicy. My kids wouldn't even touch it after the first bite because, as my 3-year old kept saying, "it makes my throat hot!" And my husband and I agreed that heartburn is definitely in the forecast tonight. I guess we're all just wimps at our house. :) If you like a little heat in your food, by all means, add away!

I also made a few adjustments from the original recipe. I didn't have some of the ingredients, so I had to make do a bit. Still tasted awesome. So whether you decide to stick with the original recipe or go with my (let's admit it, cheaper) adjustments, you're definitely in for a treat.

Lasagna Soup

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 C chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used regular)
2 bay leaves (didn't use, 'cause I couldn't find them :))
5 C chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusili pasta (I used farfalle, a.k.a. bow tie!)
1/2 C finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the "cheesy yum:"
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese (I used the powdered stuff and it was still awesome)
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of 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, oregano, and red pepper flakes (optional). 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 (about 10-15 minutes). Don't over cook or pasta will get mushy! Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and 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. Sprinkle a bit more mozzarella over the top and serve.

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