As I was simmering this soup on the stove, my husband walked in the door and before he could enter the kitchen, I heard him smugly say, “Mmmm, smells like my favorite lasagna cookin’!” To which I smugly replied, “Uh, not quite.”
Lasagna soup. All the flavors of classic and delicious lasgana rolled into soup form – and it tastes just like…well, lasagna! Soup! I know, get out. Tender fusilli noodles are placed in the bottom of a bowl and topped with the flavorful tomato-lasagna soup and dolloped with a heaping spoonful of the creamy, rich ricotta and Parmesan mixture. Of course it isn’t complete without a hearty sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Stirred together into completely blissful warm, cheesy, melty lasagna goodness, this soup is one for the record books. I hoarded the leftovers for days and savored each and every bite. One of my favorite meals this fall. No question about it.
P.S. I know the soup in the pictures looks less like soup and more like a pasta dish but that is because I went a little overboard with the noodles in the picture. Trust me, it really is soup. And a delicious one at that.
- 1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tablespoons dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound fusilli noodles, cooked and drained
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, for sprinkling
- In a large 4-quart pot, add the Italian sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking the pieces up with a wooden spoon or spatula while it cooks. I prefer the sausage in fairly small pieces. After about 3-4 minutes, add the onion. Cook the sausage and onion together, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through and the onions are soft,a bout 5-7 minutes. Drain any excess grease, if desired. Stir in the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, bay leaves and chicken broth. Add the basil, if using dried (if using fresh basil, add it in the next step).
- Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and the fresh basil, if using.
- For the cheese mixture, in a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil. Set aside.
- To serve the soup, add a scoop of cooked pasta noodles to a bowl. Top with a ladle or two of soup and dollop with a generous spoonful of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Serve immediately.