Lasagna Soup

I’m always really intrigued by recipes that take one food and transform it into a different food. Like buffalo chicken burgers, chicken tamale casserole, enchilada meatloaf, crab rangoon dip, carrot cake pancakes. You get the idea. There’s something fun about preparing a familiar food in a new and interesting way. Lasagna soup definitely fell into this category and was instantly filed into my to-make list.

Since I love pasta and could eat it every day, while it’s not really Nick’s favorite (I’m pretty sure it’s because pasta means less meat, not a good thing), I thought this soup would be a good compromise. Plus it was a good excuse to use up some of the ground meat in our freezer!

I also got to thinking about the moose and deer we’ve been eating so much of lately. At first I was a little sketched out by the meat. It’s not exactly FDA regulated. But then I started thinking about all the horrific slaughterhouses I’ve seen in movies like Food, Inc. and read about in books like Skinny Bitch. While I’d never consider becoming a vegan, or even a vegetarian for that matter (hey, you only live once!), those books and movies really do make me a little sick. If you haven’t seen or read them, you ought to check them out. You might think twice about that McDonald’s hamburger.

Anyways, the point of this is, after thinking about it, there’s really no reason to be sketched out by fresh, technically organic, free-range meat! So now I actually feel pretty good about the fact that we have a stocked freezer from 2 humanely killed animals and at least for a few months, won’t be supporting those nasty slaughterhouses!

Lasagna Soup

(adapted from Fly Girls)

serves 4

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 lasagna noodles, broken (about 4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

In  a dutch oven or large pot, combine ground beef, onion and pepper, breaking up the beef into crumbles. Cook over medium heat until ground beef is browned and vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.

Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, Italian herbs, basil, red pepper flakes, and s&p. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add noodles, return to a boil, and simmer until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Put a 2 tbsp dollop of ricotta in the bottom of soup bowls.

Ladle soup on top of ricotta and top with additional Parmesan, if desired. Serve with salad, red wine, and crusty bread!

The soup really did taste like lasagna, was delicious, and apparently WAS a good compromise… Nick declared it the best thing I’ve made in a while, went back for a second (large) bowl, and only didn’t go back for a third on my recommendation that his stomach might regret it. Definitely a keeper!

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