Soup. I promise it isn’t the only thing I eat. It’s just that it’s been so cold and grey here in Indianapolis lately and soup is quick and easy and I don’t really have to leave the house to get the ingredients for many of them. The next bunch of recipes I post will be so far removed from soup, you will forget I even know how to make it. I swear.
This soup is one of Hubby’s favorite meals. It’s the first thing he ever made for me when we first started dating. When he saw I was making it today he got almost as giddy as he does when he realizes I’m going to make steak for dinner. It’s quite adorable, actually, seeing his eyes light up and watching him bounce around like a little boy on his birthday. This recipe is actually his, too. He got it from some girl he used to date back in New York, but we don’t talk about that. (I won! Haha!!)
I like lasagna soup because it has all the flavors of lasagna without all the fuss. It’s meaty and cheesy and full of vegetables (which I can actually get Hubby to eat!) that are available and inexpensive year-round. Another good thing about this recipe is that it’s easily customizable. If there’s a veggie in it that you don’t like, leave it out! If you want to add one, go ahead. There really isn’t an exact science to this soup. The only things you really need to make it taste like lasagna are the sausage and the cheese, in my opinion. Maybe the tomatoes.
Cheese. It may be the best part of this soup. I mean, it has a quarter of a cup (or however much you feel like putting in) of fresh mozzarella in the bottom of each bowl before you ladle the hot soup on top of it, rendering the cheese melty and stringy and gooey and full of cheesy goodness. Then? To make it even better? You sprinkle some grated parmesan on top. Just in case there wasn’t enough cheese in there for your liking.
If you’re into healthy dinners – and I suppose we all should be, right? – just leave out the cheese. You’ll save a ton of calories and the soup will still taste amazing. Want to make it vegetarian? Swap the chicken broth for vegetable. It’s as easy as that!
Recipe Source: Joe Ottaviano
- 1 lb bulk Italian sausage (hot or sweet, I prefer sweet)
- 2cups onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 2 T garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 14.5 oz can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
- 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup pasta (any kind is fine, bowtie works well)
- 2 cups spinach chopped
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
- Grated Parmesan, for garnish
- Basil, for garnish
Brown the sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, until the mushrooms become slightly soft.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. When boiling, add pasta, cover and cook until pasta is done, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
To serve, put 1/4 cup mozzarella in the bottom of 4 bowls and ladle hot soup over it. Top with grated Parmesan and basil, if desired.