Lasagna Soup

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.


About to be melty, gooey, cheesy goodness!

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!

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

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.


Emergency Chicken Noodle Soup

The other day I got a text at work from Joe: My stomach isn’t doing so hot… I hope I didn’t come down with something.

Uh oh. First of all, I don’t want a sick husband. Who does? It’s not fun, and there’s a good chance you’re going to get whatever it is he has, too. Yuck. Second of all, what am I going to make for dinner that won’t upset an already icky stomach?!

Enter emergency chicken noodle soup. There is a decent amount of “cheating” in this recipe. Where I would normally use homemade chicken stock (or turkey since I have a ton left over from Christmas), it was frozen and I needed dinner fast. I also didn’t have any chicken already made, so while I was at the store for the noodles (which I also didn’t make from scratch) and veggies, I picked up a plain rotisserie chicken.

If you can overlook all of the “cheating” aspects of this soup, it is actually a great, healthy, easy homemade dinner any night of the week. Not just when someone in the family isn’t feeling well. It’s full of noodles and fresh veggies and healthy chicken, and it just tastes good. I used an entire bag of egg noodles in this batch because I like a lot of noodles in my soup, but if you prefer a soup with more broth you can just use half a bag.

Emergency Chicken Noodle Soup

Emergency Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 celery stalks (including leaves), diced
  • 1 bag egg noodles
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus more for serving (optional)

Place a large pot over medium heat. Add about one tablespoon of olive oil and the onion and cook the onion until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes, but don’t let it brown. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant. Pour in the chicken broth and and an equal amount of water (or, ideally, use all broth, but I didn’t have enough on hand), raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the noodles (whole or half bag, depending on how you like your soup), carrots, celery, parsley and chicken and cook until the noodles are tender, about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley on top.

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

When I think back to a childhood comfort meal, grilled cheese and tomato soup is always the first thing that comes to mind. Who didn’t have this combination at least once growing up? It’s been a really snowy week here in Indy and I decided that a comfort meal was definitely called for, but it needed to be “grown-up” a bit. No pre-sliced, pre-packaged cheeses or soups out of a can for me.

About a year and a half ago, a friend gave me a copy of Cook This, Not That!: Kitchen Survival Guide when I was trying to lose weight for my wedding. In it was a recipe for a healthy version of a grilled cheese sandwich that had bacon on it. And used real butter! I was flabbergasted. To eat bacon and use butter when trying to lose weight? It couldn’t be possible. Or could it? Instead of buttering every slice of bread, the butter is melted in the pan to grill the sandwiches, allowing you to use less butter overall, yet still imparting the flavor to the bread. Green apple slices are also put in the sandwiches to add another layer of flavor AND a serving of fruit to your day.

For the tomato soup, I decided to make a recipe I found on Pinterest that apparently everyone raved over. It called for crushed tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, but since it’s December in Indiana, I bought crushed tomatoes that had basil in them and figured that was good enough. I could smell the basil while the tomatoes were simmering and I couldn’t wait for everything to be ready so I could blend it and dig in!

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon

  • 1T butter
  • 8 slices whole-grain bread (I only had white bread on hand)
  • 1T Dijon Mustard
  • 6 oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced
  • 8 strips cooked bacon

Heat the butter in a large skillet or nonstick sauté pan over low heat. Slather 4 slices of bread with the mustard, then divide the cheese, apples and bacon among them. Top with the other bread slices and add to the hot pan. Cook these sandwiches until each side is deep brown and crunchy, about 10-12 minutes total.

Tomato-Basil Soup

  • 4 cups canned, crushed tomatoes (I used two 28 oz cans)
  • 12 fresh basil leaves plus extra for garnish, if desired.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 stick (1/4 cup) butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Simmer tomatoes in saucepan for 30 minutes. Puree, with the basil leaves, in small batches in a blender or food processor. Alternatively, you could use crushed tomatoes with basil (I used Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes in Thick Puree with Basil. I also used my immersion blender to puree the tomatoes in the pan.) Return to saucepan and add cream, butter, salt and pepper while stirring over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves.