While most of the rest of the country's dealing with frigid temperatures, we're finally getting some rain here on the Oregon coast. I had begun to think stormy rainy winters were a fallacy created by the locals to keep riff raff like us away from this glorious place.
It seemed like a great reason to cook up a pot of soup, especially like the one that caught my eye in October's Food Network Magazine. Of course, I had to do a little more research before I bit the bullet and came up with my own version.
There isn't much better in my book than a heaping helping of lasagna but if you're short on time and/or inclination, this will do in a pinch. I used a half pound of homemade hot italian sausage along with a pound of extra lean ground beef; added onions, garlic, lots of red pepper flakes and dried Italian seasoning. Dry marsala wine hit the pot because I love the flavor and a little booze makes almost everything better. I nixed the idea of tomato paste and threw in a large can of tomato puree and a small one of diced tomatoes along with a quart of low sodium chicken stock. After that it was just salt, pepper and time - about a 40 minute simmer to mellow out the flavors and thicken the soup. I cooked up some lasagna noodles on the side because adding them uncooked to the soup would have made it into a stew and then mixed ricotta cheese with grated parmesan and chopped fresh basil to dress the bowl.
We loved it but then again, what's not to love right? Spicy hearty meaty tomato sauce in a bowl with creamy ricotta and al dente noodles - it really is lasagna in a bowl. Just imagine how great the leftovers are going to taste because stuff like this always tastes better the second day and a good thing too because the recipe makes a ton.
I'm even thinking about leaving out the noodles and poaching eggs in the "soup" instead for a quick and easy "Nova in Purgatory" kinda' like the one we made way back in 2010. Now there's an idea, huh!
Lasagna Soup (inspired by Food Network Magazine as well as “300 Sensational Soups” by Carla Snyder)
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry marsala wine (optional)
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
1 – 28 ounce can tomato puree
1 quart low sodium chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Salt and course ground black pepper
8 dry lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Dash garlic salt
Chopped fresh basil for garnish
Spray a Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and crumble using a potato masher. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onions and garlic and cook until vegetables are softened. Stir in Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Make a well in the center of the meat and veggies and add Marsala wine. Cook until wine has almost totally reduced – about 2 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken stock, and bay leaves. Heat to boiling then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes or until reduced to a thick consistency. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as required.
In a small bowl, mix together ricotta, parmesan and garlic salt. To serve soup, place a tablespoon of ricotta mixture into bottom of bowl. Ladle soup over top and add a cooked lasagna noodle. Garnish with basil. Makes 8 servings.
A year ago - Peanut Sesame Noodles with Redneck Egg Rolls
Two years ago - Pork Chops with Golden Apple Sauce
Three yearsago - Chicken Cutlets with Romesco
Four years ago - JBug's Baked Eggs