Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lasagna Soup

It’s such a lovely day today here on the west coast of Canada. The sun is shining, the flowers are beginning to bloom, and the kids are just itching to play outside. (Dare I say it? Ok, here I go…) I think Spring may be here at last! It’s been particularly cold and dreary here up until now, which is why I made this warm and comforting Lasagna soup the other day. Nothing chases away the chill of the cold outdoors like hot soup in your belly, although I think this is a perfect meal for hotter weather as well because you don’t have to turn on your oven to enjoy the taste of lasagna. It really does taste like deliciously cheesy lasagna in a bowl. We all loved it; all of us, that is, besides Cole. He said it was okay but he doesn’t like lasagna so this couldn’t be good either. Back the truck up…he doesn’t like lasagna?? How can he even be my child and not like lasagna? It’s only probably my most favourite food in the world. What’s not to love about pasta, tomato sauce, and tons of ooey gooey cheese? Apparently a lot, if you happen to be Cole. But if you’re a lasagna love like I am, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this soup.

Lasagna Soup
1 lb Italian sausage
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
8 oz pasta of your choice (for example- fusilli, rotini, or broken-up lasagna noodles)
salt and pepper, to taste

8 oz ricotta or cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
pinch of salt and pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Remove sausage from casings and place in a large soup pot over medium heat. Break the sausage up into small pieces and cook until browned. Place sausage into a mesh sieve over a large bowl to drain off the fat. Set aside. In the pot, cook the onions, green pepper and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add back the sausage, along with oregano, basil, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add pasta and cook until pasta is done. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mix ricotta, parmesan and salt and pepper. When serving, place a spoonful of cheese mixture in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle hot soup over top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Serves 8.