With spring officially arriving last weekend, this house could pretty much assume that soup would be a rarity for a few months. I’m just not the kind to put a hot pot on the stove during the spring and summer, unless we have some unseasonably cool weather. My husband, on the other hand, would welcome a cup of hot chili or soup almost any day of the year.
But just as soon as spring finally decided to peek out, it disappeared.
Nowhere to be found.
When we awoke Wednesday morning, it was to the broadcast of yet another winter storm warning. The midwest was cold and once again blanketed in snow. It’s been one heckuva white winter in these parts!
But you know the saying…“if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”…
So I made soup!
I found this Lasagna Soup recipe in our local Kowalski’s Markets magazine, originally from the cookbook 300 Sensational Soups. I’ve always had good luck with recipes that Kowalski’s prints, but what especially caught my eye was that Chef Sarah Molten named 300 Sensational Soups as one of the top cookbooks of the year on Good Morning America’s Top 10 List for 2008. And one of the book’s co-authors is a local Minnesotan. I really felt the need to taste this soup!
The soup is truly like lasagna in a bowl. The flavors are lovely. And the cheesy concoction that gets hot soup ladeled over it in your bowl is yum! Kinda like this Chicken Tortilla Soup with its hidden mozzarella surprise. Only in Italian this time!
I substituted mafalda pasta for the recipe’s fusilli, because aren’t they just the cutest mini lasagna looking noodles you ever did see? I couldn’t resist!
And after picking up 300 Sensational Soups, I know I will be trying more recipes from this book. There are many calling my name.
But, next week, folks…I promise you’ll be seeing spring around here. Even if all I see outside is white.
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
- 3 c. chopped onions
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 c. chicken stock
- 8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
- 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. ricotta
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.
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