Friday, January 29, 2016

How to Make Quick and Easy "Loaded" Lasagna Soup

Several years ago, I saw the words Lasagna Soup and HAD to read more.  I found Nicole Morrissey's recipe on her lovely blog, Prevention RD, and we probably tried it out the same night, if not the next.

I made variations from the first time I tried this, and I have continued to improve and vary my version of this for a few years now.

I LOVE lasagna and mine is fantastic, but since I have discovered lasagna soup, I don't think I have made real lasagna once.  That's because lasagna is time consuming and makes a real mess by using lots of bowls and dishes, while this is a one pot meal that cooks quickly and is just as delicious.

This soup is definitely one of my family's favorite meals.

The first variation I immediately made to this recipe was to use ground beef.  I prefer this soup with ground beef (chuck, actually), but have made an amazing meatless version of this using farro cooked in stock.  I have also used a combo of lean beef and ground turkey, and last night this soup pictured in photos was made using a 50/50 mixture of chuck and ground pork.  I did not like this near as much and won't add pork into the mix again.

I also added a ton of veggies into the original recipe, to make this more like my lasagna which is also vegetable heavy.  This can certainly be widely varied, depending on what you have that is appropriate on hand.

I brown my meat (or cook farro if I am preparing this without meat) first, and then drain and set that aside.  Then I wipe my pan and add a tablespoon or two of good butter or heat safe oil and gently saute an onion and a bell pepper or two.

 So many delicious dinners begin like this!

You can also use red and/or green onions and any color bells.  Roasted red peppers are delicious in this soup as well.

Once these have cooked and softened a bit, I add a couple of chopped zucchini.

You could also add chopped mushrooms at this point.  I recommend this, for sure, but some silly people in my family refuse to eat mushrooms, so I usually have to leave them out.

After these have softened for a few minutes, I add a lot of minced garlic, about six to ten cloves chopped.  I quickly add salt and spices. I always use my favorite all-purpose seasoning,  Cavender's All Purpose Salt Free Greek Seasoning 7 oz (NO MSG), Himalayan Pink Salt, and I might use ground oregano, ground coriander, and ground cayenne or red pepper flakes.

Then I add in two cans of fire roasted tomatoes.  Last night, I forgot to thaw the frozen spinach so I added it in at this point too.  I had to take a picture, because my soup hadn't looked this pretty at this point before (usually I add spinach later, once I have added stock).

Then I add the browned meat and about two and a half tablespoons of tomato paste, and stir this well.  Then I add two quarts of stock, either beef or chicken or vegetable works well.

After this has simmered for some time, I add fresh chopped herbs if I have them- oregano and/or marjoram, and/or basil if I have that.

Once the soup has simmered for fifteen to twenty minutes, I add twelve ounces of bowtie pasta noodles.  This cooks for ten to fifteen minutes,and then the soup's done.

But don't forget the cheesy goodness!  I mix equal parts whole milk ricotta and shredded cheese.  You can use mozzarella, mozzarella and parmesan, or an italian blend, and lots of black pepper.   Mix well and spoon this at the bottom of the bowls, before ladling soup, or just put a spoonful on top to garnish. Stir the cheesy mix into the soup before eating, and enjoy!

1 comment:

Patti said...

Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try it.