Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lasagna Soup

Yaaay for soup season!! When I woke up this morning, it was a chilly 26 degrees. In a month, that will feel warm. When I first moved to Alaska, it was -20 for the entire month of December. Brrrrrr!! Fingers crossed that it doesn't get that cold, but I hope it stays cold enough to snow. We are all excited to sled, ski, and play hockey. 

Now the kids are going nuts wondering when they get to play in the snow, and my husband and I are in panic mode because we still need to get ready for winter...the kids need new snow clothes (seriously, when do they stop growing so fast?!), new hockey skates, the garage needs to be cleaned out so we can fit both cars in (sorry  but there's no way I'm scraping off a frozen car every morning with two toddlers in tow), and the yard needs a final clean-up. Sheesh!

Even with all the work, I wouldn't change a thing. I love winter here. I love skiing all day or taking the kids skating on the pond, and then coming home to a hearty, comforting bowl of hot soup. This was my first time trying lasagna soup, and let me tell you, I will be making it many, many times this winter. It had all the wonderful flavors of lasagna, but without all the work!

Lasagna Soup
Servings: 6 to 8

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 (32 oz.) box chicken broth + extra as needed
2 cups broken lasagna noodles (can substitute with gluten-free pasta)
Ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh basil or parsley  for topping

In a large dutch oven or pot, cook the sausage, onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper together over medium-high heat until the sausage is cooked through and the onions have softened. Drain off excess fat, if necessary. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning; cook for 30 seconds longer.

Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until softened, about 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan, and fresh herbs on top.

(Note: The soup will thicken as it cools. Add additional chicken broth to thin out if desired.)

Source: adapted from Paula Deen

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