Monday, July 11, 2011

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna soup is a recipe that has been hanging around the tables in my family for quite a few years.  My aunt reminded me tonight that my dad cooked a batch of  lasagna soup for all the ladies at my baby shower with Bryce- so clearly, it's nothing new.  I make it fairly frequently for my family, but tonight's pot of lasagna soup was the best one ever!  It must've been all the farm fresh ingredients- yum.

Lasagna Soup:

Start with a pound of Italian sausage.  I used the whole hog Italian sausage from Seeds and Spores that I bought at the farmer's market a few weekends ago (don't worry, it's been in the freezer).  I browned up the sausage and added some minced garlic, a generous sprinkle of Penzey's Black and Red, and a dash of Penzey's Chili Powder.  We like our food a bit spicy!

When the meat was almost done, I added a bowl of cut vegetables (many of which were from the bucket):
  • celery
  • onions
  • kale
  • fresh spinich
  • carrots
  • garlic scapes
  • basil and oregano
  • oyster mushrooms (I think I'm in love with these!)
It's a lot of cutting and peeling with all these veggies, but when you have the cutest four-year-old little chef in town, it can actually be fun.  Most people would think I was insane letting Bryce use a knife to chop veggies, but I want my kids to be knowledgeable and comfortable in the kitchen starting at a young age.  I'd rather have him learn the right way to use tools with me right next to him then to find a knife or peeler when I'm not there, use it inappropriately, and get hurt.  As a bonus, I find that the more I include Bryce in meal preparation, the more interested he is in eating the food.  I can always sneak some vegetables into him, too, because he's much more willing to try new veggies when they are raw.

Anyhow, enough of my tangent.  After the meat and veggies are together in the pot, I continued to saute them until the veggies began to get soft.  I then added:
  • One large can of diced tomatoes
  • One  box (16 oz) of organic chicken broth
  • Penzey's Italian Herbs
  • a bit more salt and pepper to taste
I simmered the soup on low for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally.  When it was close to supper time, I boiled (in a separate pot) a half bag of whole wheat gobletti noodles.  Any noodles will do, though.  I like the recipe with bow ties, too!  You can cook the noodles directly in the broth to save a pot, but I find that I get carried away and add so many noodles that they suck up all the broth.  I am better controlled when I add precooked noodles a little at a time.  I simmered the soup for a few more minutes so that the noodles could pick up the flavor of the broth.

Now here's the secret that makes it "lasagna soup."

In the bottom of each soup bowl, I added 5 or 6 cubes of mozzarella cheese.  When the hot soup is poured on the cheese, it melts into tasty little surprises in your bowl- fun and kid friendly!

So tasty served with garlic bread and a farm fresh salad!

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