Lasagna Soup

YUM.  Just looking at this picture makes me want to make this again.  I originally got this recipe off of the Family Fun website when my friend told me she had made it.

This is a great winter recipe because it's warm and comforting.  And fast.  And easy. 

Lasagna Soup
1 pound italian sausage (I used turkey.  Sweet or Spicy italian sausage would work)
1 large onion, finely chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp (or more) crushed red pepper
2 Tb tomato paste
(2) 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (I used the seasoned tomatoes)
4 cups chicken broth (there's about 4 cups in each carton of stock)
2 bay leaves
8 ounces of short-cut pasta (fusili, bow ties, wagon wheels...)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil (this is really optional.  It's really good in there but if you don't have your own basil plant you don't really need to buy a $3 pack of basil for this.)
8 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
shredded mozzarella cheese

In a soup pot cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.  Drain the meat and addx the onions and saute until softened.  Add in the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and saute for a minute.  Add the tomato paste cook over medium heat until the paste has turned a rusty brown color. Stir in the tomatoes, undrained, the chicken stock or broth, bay leaves and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Stir in the pasta and increase the heat to medium-high and boil the soup until hte pasta is cooked...but not overcooked.  Keep a close eye on it.  Tasste and adjust seasonings adding salt and pepper if needed. 

In a small bowl stir together the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper.  To serve the soup, put a heaping Tb of the ricotta mixture in a bowl, ladle soup over the top and sprinkle with fresh basil.

(1 c. of soup has about 265 calories, not too shabby)

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