When I think of my mom’s cooking, her lasagna is one of the first things that crystallizes in my memory. Our family was in for a great dinner when our oven was baking her lasagna. Her version included meat, mushrooms, spinach, basically everything you could possibly include in lasagna without it becoming just chaos. Good homemade lasagna really is the mark of familial love.
Lasagna soup is all the deliciousness of lasagna, dished into a bowl. It’s a nice option to consider when you don’t want to put together all the layers of an actual lasagna. But be assured, all the wonderful, familiar flavors of lasagna are here – Italian sausage, tomatoes, pasta noodles, basil, all topped with melty cheese. Do not skimp on the cheese!
Adapted from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
2 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
8 ounces pasta noodles, such as penne or macaroni
2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
salt and pepper to taste
toppings: shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite-sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
While soup is simmering, cook pasta. Set cooked pasta aside. Right before serving, stir spinach and basil into the soup. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Add pasta, and top generously with mozzarella and parmesan.