lasagna soup.

LALALALA I still can’t hear you talking about turkey and pumpkin pie and Brussels sprouts. (Y’all, what IS it with the Brussels sprouts recipes as of late?! Who likes Brussels sprouts? NOBODY.)  And Tina’s off planning her kitchen renovation, complete with a dishwasher I’ll have you know, so you’re stuck with me whether you like it or not.

But you’ll be happy with this turn of events, as I have a great, easy supper idea for you. I’m sure you’ve picked up on how much my family loves pasta, and that affection is what carried this Lasagna Soup onto my pinterest board. This is hearty and flavorful, and guaranteed to be a hit — even among the non-soup-lovers (ahem). I will make it again and again.

Lasagna Soup
adapted from A Farm Girl Babbles

for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. hot turkey 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. fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheese topping:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
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, 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 cheese topping. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheese mixture in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

My notes:

  • I used some Trader Joe’s tortellini instead of regular noodles. And I read somewhere, to avoid the pasta getting soggy, to put some noodles in the bottom of your bowl and then ladle the soup over it.
  • I did not fully follow instructions, as I totally missed the whole “cheese mixture THEN soup” part of these directions. Tomato-Tomahto.
  • The original recipe calls for regular Italian sausage. In an effort to cut some calories, I substituted turkey, as they are pretty interchangeable to me. The hot sausage + the fire roasted tomatoes + the crushed red pepper gave this some major kick, so if that’s not your thing you might need to cut back on the heat somewhere.
  • When I cook sausage, I do not add oil to the pan. Ever.
  • I will cut back on the chicken stock some next time, to make it less soup-y. Why don’t I just make spaghetti sauce, you might ask? I have no answers.
  • My mom once told me that bay leaves were poisonous, which I believed until about, uh, 2 years ago when Matt left the room hysterically laughing after I told him I had to fish them all out of the pot of spaghetti so nobody died. I guess once I figured out that the bread crusts didn’t actually contain all the nutrients, I might have looked again at some other kitchen rules she once told me.

Still ready for December 1, and for Tina’s home reno project to be over,
jcristg

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