As you all know well by now, I hate winter – especially when it snows – but I LOVE winter foods! Stews, soups, pastas, casseroles and all hot, warm, comforting, yummy things that take the cold edge off any day. I was mentioning on Twitter that I was making fresh bread today with some Lasagna Soup, and a few folks wanted to come to dinner, and one friend asked for the recipe, so I thought I’d post it here in the name of solidarity against the cold, harsh season.
This recipe was one I found through a link posted on Twitter originally; I don’t know who posted it, but much thanks to them. Here is the link for the original Lasanga Soup recipe that I based mine on. The ingredients are basically the same, but I made some changes, etc and so I will post how I do it. If you’re like me, you have to tweak a recipe in some way or another, right? If you make changes, post here later and let us know!
Anyhoo… here’s how I’ve rewritten it for myself and friends/family, based on that original recipe. The best part, it’s EASY.
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1-2 lbs. Italian sausage, sweet or hot, out of casings (you could use hamburger, but I think the sausage adds more flavor)
- 3 c. chopped onions (not too fine)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- dried oregano (I just shake in as much as I feel looks right, same with the basil)
- dried basil
- 4 tbs. tomato paste
- 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes — *I use regular crushed tomatoes, or chopped fresh tomatoes if I still have any in the freezer from the summer garden. If possible I have also roasted fresh cherry tomatoes and then put them in the food processor, and I think you could also use sundried in oil — that could be interesting. I measure by eye, so figure maybe 2 cups of whatever tomato you use, but remember that roasted and sundried will have stronger flavors, so maybe mix one cup with one cup plain tomatoes.
- 6 c. low or no salt chicken stock
- 8 oz. fusilli pasta (any curly pasta will do) — cook this separately
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
I omit the fresh basil and the red pepper, but you could add that back in if you want, and I think even some red wine could be a nice addition.
I have changed how the cheese is done as well — read on below.
- 8 oz. ricotta
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ c grated mozzerella (I like to grate my own, not used bagged)
Heat olive oil in a large pot (I use an enameled cast iron dutch oven) over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic, oregano & basil. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate, cook for a few minutes, stirring well. (You could probably add wine here if you want to try it). Add canned and/or roasted tomatoes and chicken stock (I sometimes add a cup of extra water, just because…). Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour or so. (I really let mine cook for a while to let the flavors combine).
When the soup is close to done, cook pasta in a separate pan.
(Now, this is where I change the process of the original recipe. First, I like to use smaller pasta, and I like to avoid having large globs of cheese that make the soup hard to eat — so I came up with this process that works nicely).
While the pasta is cooking, mix the three cheeses in a separate bowl.
When you are ready to serve, spoon 2-3 dollops in the bottom of a wide soup or pasta bowl.
Spoon some pasta over the cheese.
Finally, ladle hot soup over the noodles & cheese.
Optionally grate some fresh asiago cheese on top and serve with a piece of fresh bread. Ta-da! The cheese melts into the soup, and you might have some stringiness, but not anything that will make this annoying to eat. You can use more or less cheese as you desire
*****Don’t mix pasta into the leftovers – it will soak up all the soup — cook fresh pasta for any leftovers, or mix your leftover pasta with some olive oil to keep it moist for the next time and just reheat it.