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Our Fabulous Fall: Lasagna Soup

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I read the words "lasagna soup" the other day, and haven't been able to get it out of my mind since.

I knew I had to make it. Something about transforming classic favorites into comforting alternatives (with maybe even a slightly healthy twist?) is irresistible to me. Like, I can't stop thinking about it, and I come home with armloads of groceries to "whip it up" at 8pm.

Stuff I had to get from the store:
  • 1lb extra-lean ground turkey (for the above mentioned slightly healthy twist. It would also be amazing with ground beef, spicy turkey or chicken sausage, or if you're going for the real deal: fresh, spicy Italian sausage)
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cartons of organic chicken broth
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • 8oz ricotta
  • Eating Right Whole Grain lasagna noodles
  • A small, sweet onion
Stuff I needed, but had at home:
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Minced garlic
  • Oregano
  • Shredded parmesan
  • Bay leaves
  • salt/pepper
  • EVOO
Stuff I didn't have, but excluded because I forgot it at the store:
  • Basil
Start by heating the EVOO in a big pot; add in ground turkey and brown sightly. Add in diced onion, sauté until onion softens and looks translucent. Add oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic. Add in two tablespoons of tomato paste, continue cooking until the paste turns a rusty brown color. I don't know why this part of the recipe grossed me out, but it did... not my words, I'm just relaying what the recipe I followed said.

Add in two cans of diced tomatoes and 6 cups of broth. Throw in 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, prepare pasta. Recipe called to add the dry pasta to the soup to cook it altogether, but I didn't want mushy noodles and a thick soup... that would be, like... normal lasagna. So I prepared the pasta separately.

Did you guys know what a HUGE pain in the rear sheets of lasagna are? I didn't want to break them up because I wanted the pieces to be even (my only sign of OCD) and I didn't want to use a replacement pasta like the recipe calls for (uh, it wouldn't be lasagna soup if I didn't use lasagna noodles, duh). Anyway, while noodles are cooking and soup is simmering, combine 8oz ricotta with 1/2 cup of parm, and season with a little salt and pepper in a separate bowl. (Warning: do the dishes as you go, because there is a crap-ton of them).

When noodles are al dente, drain and let cool... cut them into (symmetrical) bite-sized pieces.

To eat: spoon some of the cheesy mixture into the bottom of your bowl (like two tablespoons or two cups or whatever), add some noodles (like five or fifty), and add a couple scoops of the soup. The hot soup melts the cheese instantly, and it's literally gooey-perfect when it's time to eat. Top with a little shredded mozzarella and dip some fresh, fluffy French bread. DIVINE!

[If you're not a cook and you need the actual recipe because my my super-breezy-explanation-from-memory freaks you out, fine. You're boring. I used this one, and you can too]. 

Do you have a fun twist on a classic favorite? What else can I make into a soup? Leave your thoughts/ideas below!

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