Lasagna Soup

I really like making lasagna from scratch, but it's so time consuming I rarely actually get to do it.  It finally got cold around here and it looks like it's going to stay that way, so I decided some soup was in order.  I've had this recipe pinned on Pinterest for quite a while now, so I decided to give it a go.  I was suspect though -- I thought that there was no way a soup could actually taste like lasagna.   I was wrong.  It really does taste like lasagna.  Don't believe me?  Give it a try.  You'll be surprise.  Bonus --  it is about a million times easier and faster to make than making a lasagna from scratch. 

Slightly adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

What you need to make the soup:
1 1/2 Pounds Sausage 
1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
6 Oz Tomato Paste
28 Oz Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
6 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp Dried Basil
1/2 Pound Rigatoni Noodles
2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese (for garnishing)

What you do to make the soup:
1.  In a large pot, cook the sausage for about 5 minutes on medium heat, breaking it up as you cook. 

2.  Add the onions to the sausage and continue cooking (stirring occasionally)  for about 5 minutes, or until the sausage is completely cooked.  Drain excess grease if necessary. 

3.  Add the garlic powder, oregano, red pepper, and tomato paste.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

4.  Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes (with the juices), chicken broth, and basil. 

5.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

6.  While the soup is boiling/simmering, cook the rigatoni noodles according to direction and make the ricotta cheese mixture (below).  Drain and fully rinse the noodles.

What you need to make the ricotta cheese mixture:
1. 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
2. 1/4 Cup shredded Asiago Cheese
3. 1/4 Cup shredded Romano Cheese
4. 1/4 Tsp Salt
5. 1/8 Tsp Black Pepper
6. 1 1/2 Tsp Dried Basil

What you do to make the ricotta cheese mixture:
1. Mix everything together. (Really. That's it.)

To Serve:

Place a couple of spoonfuls of rigatoni noodles in the bottom of a bowl. Top the noodles with a couple of ladlefuls of lasagna soup. Garnish with shredded mozzarella. Add a dollop of the ricotta cheese mixture on the very top. Serve immediately.

This is goes great with a crunchy piece of garlic bread.



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