Cheesy Yum! Lasagna Soup

I found this recipe on Pinterest!  Pinterest is basically an online bulletin board that allows you to “pin” and categorize things you like across the web.  You can follow people and see their pins and can follow categories you might be interested (e.g., food). I’m finding Pinterest is a great way to organize recipes I’m interested in making.  I love how visual it is — much more effective than bookmarks when I’m trying to decide what to cook.

This recipe, as its title implies, basically tastes like lasagna.  It is a tomato, sausage and pasta soup but has something the recipe author calls “cheesy yum” on the bottom of the bowl which is a mixture of ricotta, parmesan, and shredded mozzarella.  When you mix the soup with the cheesy yum it looks and tastes like lasagna filling.  Delish!

You can lighten the dish up a bit with turkey sausage, whole wheat pasta, and part-skim ricotta.

I will definitely be making this again!

Lasagna Soup
A Farm Girl’s Dabbles

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
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 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 and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the 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.

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.

Servings:  8

Source:  adapted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, as seen in the February-April 2011 edition of At Home with Kowalski’s magazine

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