Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Soup

11yo is a girl scout. Anyone with a scout knows that twice a year they do sales. The first one being QSP (candy, nuts, magazines) and the second one being cookies.

This year, instead of candy we bought magazines. Family Fun to be exact. It was cheap and I know quite a few people that subscribe and do neat little projects from the pages. Our first issue came this week. I flipped through quickly and the first thing to catch my eye was some soup recipes.

We love soup. There is something so warming and comforting about eating a nice steaming bowl of soup. Add a fresh loaf of bread and a salad and you have a complete meal.

One soup recipe stood out above the rest.

Lasagna soup.

I know, ewwwww. The first time I heard of it was a few days before I had seen the actual recipe and I said, "Ewww. Sounds gross." Spaghetti sauce and noodles didn't sound appetizing to me in a soup, but my mom, the person who had told me she had tasted this soup at a ladies tea, said it was actually quite good. It's lucky for me she had mentioned this soup before I saw the article, otherwise I would have passed right by and never given this recipe a try.

Last night we tried it. The verdict? Everyone loved it. It was so filling and full of yummy Italian-like flavors. Definitely one to try.

Lasagna Soup (from the Kitchen of Meredith Deeds)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage (bulk or with casings removed)
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves ("The Factory" spice cabinet didn't have these, and the soup was still good.)
8 ounces fusilli pasta
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
8 ounces ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain any excess fat from the pot. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and sauté until the paste turns a rusty brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broth, and the bay leaves and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

2. Add the pasta, then increase the heat to medium-high and boil the soup until the pasta is tender to the bite, following the time recommendations on the pasta package. Discard the bay leaves, then stir in the basil. If desired, season with salt and black pepper to taste.

3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, the Parmesan, the 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the pinch of pepper. To serve, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture in each bowl, sprinkle with some of the mozzarella, and ladle the soup on top. Makes about 13 cups.