(If you missed our awesome giveaway post yesterday, check it out here!)
Whenever we do interviews for magazines and newspapers and things like that, we somehow always end up talking about what draws us to food and cooking. And for me, although the creative aspect is largely appealing, when it comes down to the heart of it, it’s all about the emotional connection. I love how food can bring people together, and soothe hearts, and show those you care about that you love them. When I was a child, so much of “life” happened in the kitchen and around our table and I still turn to food as a way to show people I care about them. I think for that reason I’m always especially grateful when people do the same for me. My life has been a little upside-down recently as my family packed up our house to move into a new place and we’ve have had a couple months of chaotic living. Over the past few weeks several of my friends have brought meals over to my family and I can’t even express how much that meant to us after weeks of eating fast food and frozen meals in a half-packed-up kitchen. The other night one of my best friends, Melanie, and her husband Todd dropped by with a hot pot of this delicious soup. It was a cold, drizzly day and I had spent hours unpacking boxes and I almost cried when I saw an amazing home-cooked meal showing up at my doorstep. Mel had told me about this soup before, with its cheesy surprise at the bottom of the bowl and it was just as yummy as she had described. After we finished up the soup, and had it for leftovers the next day, we still had a bunch of the cheesy mixture leftover and I couldn’t stand to not use it because it was the best part! So I tracked down the soup recipe and realized that I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen right then and it was as easy as dumping most of them into a pot, so I made a little more (and snapped a few pics) so we could finish up that bowl of cheesy goodness. And since this is all I’ve cooked in a while, this is what we’re making today!
I almost always use Turkey Italian Sausage for any recipe that calls for Italian sausage. Foster Farms (no sponsorship here, I just love it) makes both a “hot and spicy” and a “sweet”. Sweet just means it’s not spicy- either one works in most recipes. You honestly can’t tell the difference between the regular stuff and the turkey stuff and turkey sausage is pretty lean so you can put extra cheese on whatever it is you’re making 😉 I pretty much always have this in my freezer.
You’ll brown up the sausage and then add (in no particular order. Okay, well, there’s order in the recipe instructions, just not in my random assortment of photos here) some onion and garlic,
and some dried herbs,
a couple of bay leaves,
some diced tomatoes and chicken broth, and some tomato paste.
Quick tip on the tomato paste: It’s kind of annoying when recipes use only 1-2 tablespoons of something like tomato paste. If you’re like me, you put the rest in a container and freeze it and then end up throwing it out next time you clean out your freezer. Or the next time you need it, you need another tablespoon and now you have a big frozen block you have to chip away at. What I usually do is spoon it out into 1 tablespoon measurements, either on a piece of waxed paper like you see in the photo, or into an ice cube tray that’s been lined with plastic wrap. Once they’re frozen, place them in a ziplock bag in your freezer and next time you need some, you can just grab the amount you need, all measured out and ready to go. I do something similar with chipotle peppers, which you can read about here.
While the soup in simmering away, you can whip up the cheese mixture. I did not whip this up, my friend Melanie did and I’m just photographing her fine work. Well done Mel, well done. Ricotta, shredded Parmesan cheese and seasoned with salt and pepper.
This soup includes noodles too, and you can put them in the soup towards the end of simmering to cook them, or do as I did (and Melanie, when she brought this to me) and cook them separately. Noodles in soup are sometimes tricky, and end up sucking up way too much of the broth, and getting soggy in leftovers, etc. So I like to sometimes just cook them separately and add them to the individual servings.
To assemble the soup for serving, spoon a generous dollop of the cheese mixture into the bottom of the bowl and add some pasta if you cooked it separately.
Then ladle the hot soup over the top
and this is where it works its magic. Just let it sit for a minute or two and by the time you’re ready to eat,
It’s like a treasure chest of ooey gooey melted cheese down there.
Do yourself a favor and serve this with a loaf of crusty rustic bread you can dip and spread the cheesy love with. And then make a pot for a friend!Print
Gooey, delicious, and perfect for a wintry day, this Lasagna Soup never disappoints. Just be sure to make enough to share!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs Italian Sausage (I use Italian Turkey Sausage)
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- optional: 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces fusilli or mafalda pasta (or other pasta of your choice)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, or a heaping tablespoon dried basil
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- a few cracks of black pepper
- optional: shredded mozzarella for sprinkling on top
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces and cook until browned and cooked through. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. If you’re using dried basil, add it at this point. Cook for about a minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate.
- Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. You can add the dry pasta to the soup in the last 8-ish minutes of cooking, or do as I prefer, and cook the pasta separately and add to individual servings. Right before serving, stir in fresh basil if you’re using fresh, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- To serve, place a generous dollop of the ricotta mixture in each soup bowl, add pasta if you cooked it separately, and ladle the hot soup over the cheese. Let it sit for a minute for the cheese to get all melty, sprinkle mozzarella on top if desired and eat up.
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this looks really yummy. I’m thinking of using it for my soup kitchen next month, how many does the original recipe say it serves? thanks!
I made this soup last year and again just this past weekend when we had company. It is always a HUGE hit, and I can definitely say it’s one of my favorite soups ever!
Genius! (about the tomato paste)
And I can’t wait to make this! (about the soup)
Hey! I just made this soup for the gang arriving at my house on the day before Thanksgiving…I had a couple of upturned noses…at first! After they tried it they LOVED it! I used chicken sausage with smoked mozz and garlic (can’t remember the name of it, but you can get it at Costco) instead of the Italian sausage AND I didn’t use quite 3 cups of onions as that seemed like A LOT!! (and it was) One of our new favs!
Oh, this looks wonderful! Seeing this post made me miss our Glenwood and Blue Barn days so much! I love both Sara and Mel and I am totally going to make this soup and think of both of you. I love you ladies!
I made this the other day after I found it on Pinterest and I think it’s one of my new favorite soups. Thanks for posting and adding some of your tips as well.
This looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it! Tonight I am in charge of food for our RS Christmas dinner and we are serving your sausage tortellini soup, which I expect to be a huge hit. As soon as I recover from the big event, I’ll be ready to try lasagna soup.
Also, thanks for the tomato paste tip. When I have leftover cream I freeze it in ice cube trays so I can drop a cube or two in when I want something to be a little extra creamy, but I hadn’t thought of doing it with tomato paste. Excellent idea!
Great idea for the tomato paste!
It must have been divine intetervention that you posted this because this weekend I inadvertently opened a can of tomato paste instead of tomatoe sauce and I thought, “crap- now what ?” So I stuck it in the fridge to worry about later. Lo and behold, your very next recipe not only calls for tomato paste, but even shows me how to preserve it! Are you freaking kidding me?! Lol! Just got done eating this and it was out to this world. The husb loved it but then again he always loves what I make off of here! Thank you!!!
This looks amazing!!!!!
Love the tip about the noodles.
I wondered how many this soup recipe serves?
It’s a pretty large batch, I’d say 8-10 at least.
good to know about the tomato paste. i buy mine in a tube from trader joe’s since i can measure for small amounts and not waste a can.
Thank you for this recipe. It came on the perfect day for me. I was going to make lasagna for dinner tonight. Sounds good, but way too much effort for me right now. The soup will satisfy my want for lasagna without taking my whole afternoon, which is mostly gone at this point. And I’m taking dinner to a family on Saturday, so this is absolutely perfect! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!
This looks great, except for the sausage. (I keep kosher, so can’t mix meat and dairy…and the cheese seems way more important to this recipe than the meat!) Could I just leave it out? Should I try to replace it with veggie pseudo-sausage? Or with something else entirely? Or just give up and cry myself to sleep without any dinner? 😉
Marnie, I too, keep kosher and I think I will try it without the meat.
The sausage adds a lot of the flavor, so you can leave it out, but you might have to make up for it by adjusting the seasonings.
Thanks for the tip, Sara! I sometimes sub sun-dried tomatoes for bacon in – strong flavor (though different). Maybe I will try that here.
I’d try the morningstar veggie sausage patties as a substitute. I sub them in stuffed peppers and the flavor is wonderful! I just nuke them in the microwave and then crumble. They have loads of flavor!
Lasagna soup is a great idea! I love soup so anytime I can also turn a favorite meal into soup I am up for it!
I usually substitute Cottage cheese for the Ricotta. Would that work in this recipe?
This looks fantastic! Would this meal be considered a good candidate for a make ahead/freezer meal? I know my husband would love it.
The soup would freeze beautifully, but I’d make the cheese part fresh.
another yummy looking soup to add to my repertoire! thanks. I will be trying this one very soon.
Love. Love. Love soups in the winter!! Thank you for this one!!!
Looks so good on this rainy day. I was surprised that there was no mozzarella in the cheese mixture put in the bottom of the bowl…but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to add more gooey cheesiness. Thank you for a different take on an old standby.
You can put that part on top! Or heck, add it to the bottom, more cheese never hurt 😉
This looks so good! Wow! I’m trying this one…
YUMMY!! I’m going to try to make this for dinner tonight!! 🙂
Oh, be still, my heart! This looks delicious!
In reply to RitaMarie, we have gluten-free family, so I make a little pot with gluten-free noodles and it works great. They get to enjoy too! 🙂
I love this soup. We make it for family get togethers and it is ALWAYS a hit. Yum. If you’re wanting to cook the noodles in the soup (although they do turn to mush in the leftovers, which btw still taste fab!), I just throw them in for the last 30 minutes on medium-low heat. As soon as they aren’t crunchy, I turn the heat down and serve.
This looks so delicious, I can’t wait to make it!
This looks yummy and I think I can use wheat free pasta (my husband has a wheat allergy) and I bet it will still be delish:)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the noodle tip. I make a lot of chicken noodle soup and my noodles practically suck the soup dry. Now I know how to “fix” that problem! Since I am Not fond of tomato paste, could you suggest how much tomato sauce you would need to substitute?
I would just substitute a can of tomato sauce for an equal amount of water.
Wow, this looks like a delicious hearty soup! Do you think it would taste good without the sausage as well?