There is almost a month between when you are assigned your blog and when your recipe is due. I always make my recipe within the first two weeks just in case it doesn't turn out for some reason. Then I have enough time to make it again or find something else to try. This lasagna soup was the recipe that almost didn't exist because of one little ingredient.
Zucchini. For weeks there have been piles of zucchini in the grocery store. Piles! When I was picking up the ingredients for this I was first disappointed that the farmers market didn't have any. I found some at the grocery store near work, but for $1.39 per pound I figured I could find them cheaper at the grocery store near home. But they weren't there. Nor where they at any other grocery store near home. It was like the produce gods knew I needed to make this recipe and decided to hide all of the zucchini from me. Not cool, produce gods. Not cool at all. So I waited a week. Then two. Now I was getting kinda cranky. I wanted to make this soup, damn it! Then I managed to find a bag of frozen zucchini and squash and actually said "Good enough, produce gods" out loud in the grocery store. We'll choose not to discuss the strange looks I got and just go right on to the recipe, okay?
SRC: Lasagna Soup
- 6 oz. pasta Farfalle, shells, penne, rotini, etc.
- 8 ounces cottage cheese
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbs. fresh basil chopped
- ½ lb. Italian sausage
- ½ lb. Kielbasa
- ¼ lb. extra lean ground beef
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 bag frozen zucchini and squash
- 1 ½ lbs. fresh spinach leaves chopped
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- 30 oz. canned tomato sauce or homemade
- 6 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 tsp. oregano
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1. Fill half of a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- 2. In a medium bowl, combine the cottage cheese, Parmesan, basil and salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- 3. Remove the casing from the Italian sausage and Kielbasa and break into large pieces. Add the sausage, Kielbasa and ground beef to a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking the meat into small pieces, until the meat has browned. Drain the grease and transfer the meat to a bowl or plate.
- 4. Return the stockpot to the stove. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter. Once melted, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions have softened and are just beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- 5 Add the zucchini, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, chicken broth, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Return the meat to the stockpot as well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
- 6. Stir the spinach and basil in the soup and cook a few minutes more until the spinach begins to wilt.
- 7. To assemble, scoop some of the pasta into the bottom of the bowl. Add a scoop of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the pasta in the center of the bowl. Ladle the soup into the bowl. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Neither of us were sure how we were going to feel about this recipe. I mean, lasagna isn't exactly something you think of in soup form. I was a lot less hesitant than Tom who even made some scrunched-up-nose funny faces at me when I told him about this recipe.
But we were wrong. This was really, really good. Like you could eat it for leftovers every day type of good. Unfortunately we don't have the fridge or freezer space for that so I decided to be extra generous and bring the remaining soup to work for my coworkers. Who inhaled it before lunch time. So I think I can confidently say that this recipe was definitely a winner.