Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cheesy Lasagna Soup

When the holidays end and the real cold begins, that’s when I (seriously) need a warm bowl of soup.  And I’m not talking about the dainty soup of summer - but something that stays with you and warms you to the core. I would compare this to loose lasagna in a bowl.  Nothing better for days like these.

I really haven’t entirely forgotten to post these past few weeks.  There has been a lot of cooking happening, but a lot of FAMILY going on as well.  I have a new little grandson born just before Christmas, and my youngest son returned from his LDS mission a few weeks before that event.  

I made this soup to take to my daughter as she came home from the hospital with their new little boy.  In my church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints - or the “Mormons”) - it’s common to welcome a new mom home with at least a few meals after a new baby.  The Relief Society assigns Visiting Teachers, and they are angels of mercy at times like this.  Since this happy event happened right before Christmas, Melyn didn’t want them to have one more thing to worry about during the holidays - so they will begin bringing meals to her after the New Year.

Lasagna is a favorite portable meal that is commonly brought in to a home when needed.  It’s hearty, everyone likes it, and it transports well without spilling.  But I wanted to give this a try.  It would be much easier to warm up for a quick meal, and I liked the fact that it’s simple to assemble too.  

Most versions of Lasagna Soup you see on the web have everything mixed in - noodles, sauce, cheese, and all the rest.  I decided to make it more “soupy” - and leave the garnishes out, to be added in just before serving.  This way the noodles don’t get softer with each reheating.  The ricotta/parmesan mixture added at serving helps to cool the soup down enough to eat right away.  Grated cheese makes it heavenly.

There are several recipes that have YOU add in all the Italian seasonings - such as basil, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, etc...  I took the easy way out - and used a bottle of pasta sauce (which is already seasoned).  The chicken broth, and the can of diced tomatoes with juice cut it to the right consistency.

You can use leftover broken lasagna noodles, or go the easy route with Campanelle (a dried, curly pasta that resembles mini-lasagna noodles).  I stored my extra soup and noodles in separate containers, then warmed and combined them before serving for several more individual meals.

Add more (or less) liquid - depending on if you like yours very soupy, or more hearty and thick.  The cheesy ricotta mixture is my favorite garnish - delicious.  I think next time I’ll add a little Italian Seasoning along with the ground black pepper.

For the recipe, go to:

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