Winter is the time for soups and I have been certainly making a lot of them lately! Lasagna has to be one of my all time favourite meals and when I recently came across the idea for a lasagna soup on a farmgil's dabbles I was immediately enamored with it. A basic lasagna is made with layers of a tomato meat sauce, pasta and cheese and this soup has them all! At the base of the soup is some tasty Italian sausage along with diced tomatoes to form the 'sauce' of the soup and of course it is easy to add pasta to any soup and that only leaves the cheese layer which is added just before serving in the form of a dollop of cheese that melts quite nicely into the hot soup.
This soup is pretty easy to make and when it is cold out I certainly don't mind the long simmering times that soups often require to bring out their flavours. Really the only thing that you need to remember when making this soup is to not add the pasta until the very end as you do not want to overcook it. The 'cheese layer' of this lasagna soup is made from a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan and once the soup is ready and plated add as much of the cheese as you want to the piping hot soup and watch it melt in.
This lasagna soup has to be one of the best soups that I have had so far this winter and the flavours really do remind me a lot of lasagna. One of my favourite parts of this soup is that the cheese topping melts and the mozzarella get all gorgeously stringy which works surprisingly well in a soup!
In addition to being pretty hearty for a winter soup, if you go easy on the cheese, and I find it hard to do that, this soup is actually on the healthier side. While I was enjoying the soup I was thinking that you could make it even healthier by adding things like spinach, kale, zucchini or even beans and I am really liking the idea adding some spinach to my next batch!
Lasagna is made with a tomato based meat sauce layered with pasta and cheese and this soup has it all from the tasty Italian sausage and tomatoes to the pasta and it is topped off with a dollop of cheesy goodness that will warm your heart on a cold winters day.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound pasta
- 4 ounces ricotta
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- 2 cup mozzarella, shredded
- 1 handful basil, chopped
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat add the sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, breaking it apart as you go and set aside reserving the remaining oil and grease.
- Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and fennel and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, sausage, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. (If you have the time this soup will benefit from being simmered longer.)
- Add the pasta and cook until al-dente, about 7 minutes and remove from heat.
- Mix the ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella and serve the soup garnished with a tablespoon of the mixture along with the basil.
Slow Cooker: Implement step 1, optionally implement steps 2 & 3, place everything except the pasta, the cheeses and basil in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the pasta and cooking on high until the pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes.
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