Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lasagna Soup

I realize that although I am working now, my family still needs to eat. I had made copies of several recipes that I thought D would enjoy. He picked out the Lasagna Soup to try first.

I found this recipe in the February 2009 issue of Family Fun magazine. It is originally from Meredith Deeds cookbook 300 Sensational Soups. Her son Kyle came up with the idea of turning his favorite meal, lasagna, into a soup.

I was fairly faithful to the recipe but I used chicken Italian sausage which is lower in fat than regular pork sausage and I used part-skim ricotta as usual. I also reduced the amount of onion because neither D nor B like onions very much. And since I didn't have any fresh basil so I used half a teaspoon of dried basil instead. The soup turned out so good. Here is the quote from the Family Fun magazine article: "The tomato-y broth, brimming with sausage and pasta, melts the mix of cheeses placed in each bowl before serving. A quick swirl of the spoon ensures diners will get a bit of gooey cheese inn every bite." I really can't decide if I should keep the cheese mixture separate and add it just before serving or go ahead and put the entire mixture into the soup. For now, I'm keeping them separate like the directions recommend. Apparently, I didn't read end of the recipe very well because I combined the mozzarella with the ricotta and Parmesan and put it on top of the soup rather than putting the cheese in the bowl first and soup on top as you can see from the picture. I wish I had done it the right way but, oh well, the soup tasted great to me anyway. I reduced the amount of red pepper flakes in the recipe because D thought the soup was too spicy with 1/2 teaspoon in there. I will definitely leave them out altogether next time I make this soup. Yes, there definitely WILL be a next time for this one!

Lasagna Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
1-1/2 pounds Italian sausage (bulk or with casings removed)
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
8 ounces fusilli pasta
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
8 ounces ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain any excess fat from the pot. Add the onions and saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and saute until the paste turns a rusty brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broth, and the bay leaves and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

2. Add the pasta, then increase the heat to medium-high and boil the soup until the pasta is tender to the bite, following the time recommendations on the pasta package. Discard the bay leaves, then stir in the basil. If desired, season with salt and black pepper to taste.

3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, the Parmesan, the 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the pinch of pepper. To serve, place about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture in each bowl, sprinkle with some of the mozzarella, and ladle the soup on top. Makes about 13 cups.


The Creative Cook