Lasagna soup is a crowd pleaser! The delicious flavors of lasagna are all here, without the hard work and long baking time. It also makes good leftovers, and as the noodles soak up the broth the mixture gets more and more like the texture of actual lasagna. I often serve it for staff lunch.
This easy and satisfying soup might even be better than regular lasagna. It is certainly something I look forward to eating!
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in soup pot over medium high heat. Add beef or sausage and diced onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. At the end of the cooking time, stir in minced garlic to saute.
When the meat is well browned, add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook at medium-low for 20 minutes.
While soup simmers, mix mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and parsley together in a mixing bowl. Set aside until serving time.
When serving time is about 15-20 minutes away, put lasagna noodle pieces into the pot. Cook until noodles are tender, adding additional broth or water if needed. Adjust seasonings as desired.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top each bowl with a spoonful of the cheese mixture. Stir the cheese into the soup as you eat it to make everything melt together. Yum!
Another random holiday photo share, and another recipe at the end. Today’s pictures feature our gingerbread construction. First, the gingerbread items arrive in the mail. They are safely stored away until the ideal moment arrives.
On a calm afternoon, it’s time to pair off and go to work. Two teams, two gingerbread projects, and the last of the coloring tablecloth to catch all the crumbs!
The finished products are proudly displayed for quite a while (although the jelly beans start disappearing remarkably quickly…)
Good work, builders!
Pasta with Sausage and Fennel
This pasta recipe isn't that hard to assemble, and the fennel and fun pasta shapes make it a good meal for entertaining guests. Don't be afraid of fennel's licorice-y reputation. Its flavor mellows nicely when cooked, and no one at our table was bothered by it. This dish is also surprisingly good as a leftover, which is unusual for pasta.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Heat olive oil in a skillet or electric frying pan over medium high heat. Add sausage and brown, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon.
Cut thick stalks off the fennel bulb (reserving leafy fronds for garnish). Remove the core of the fennel bulb and slice the rest into thin strips. Slice the onion half thinly as well. Halve the cherry tomatoes or chop regular tomatoes.
Add fennel and onion to sausage. Cook 6 minutes and reduce heat to medium.
Stir in chopped tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes or just until warmed. Garnish with fennel fronds if desired.
Serve immediately with plenty of Parmesan cheese.
This is a perennial fall and winter favorite. Since most of the ingredients are shelf stable, I sometimes give them along with a recipe card as a hostess or housewarming gift.
I make my own Herbes de Provence blend (click the link to see my recipe), but you can also buy it at Penzey’s or a grocery store. Each blend is slightly different, so the flavor will vary based on what kind of spices you use.
Beef Soup Provencal
This simple, satisfying soup is a delicious dinner that's ready in minutes. It is easy, fast, nutritious, and has excellent flavor.
In large stock pot, cook ground beef with 1 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4 inch crumbles. Pour off drippings.
Stir in beans, broth, tomatoes, juice, and remaining Herbes de Provence. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
Stir in spinach and simmer 5 minutes more.
Sprinkle with cheese at the table.