Happy Labor Day for those of you in the states!
I hope you’re enjoying your three-day weekend as much as we are.
Aside from some errands on Saturday, we were able to celebrate in prime nerd style, lounging around and wasting the day away playing Diablo III and Final Fantasy FFXIV.
Oh no, did I lose you on that last sentence?
How about this – I also spent the long weekend checking off another item on my cooking to do this: lasagna!
Well, sort of, anyway.
Keeping with the “lazy weekend” theme, I opted to whip up a soup version of an old friend of mine’s favorite Italian dish.
It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve been craving a good, hearty soup for the past few weeks, probably because I’m hopelessly (and shamelessly) pining for fall to hurry up and get here.
Phoenix doesn’t really have a “fall” – it’s more like a late summer that suddenly dives right into winter – but there’s still that two week period where the air is just crisp enough to warrant a light jacket.
So I’ll pretend that’s what the weather was like outside while I sit at the kitchen table, enjoying my lasagna soup and watching the dogs play in the yard.
It made for a really peaceful afternoon.
And as for the soup itself, it really does taste like lasagna!
It has all the best Italian flavors (oregano, basil) with tender fusilli pasta mixed with ground beef, and an ultra cheesy topping that really brings all the flavors home.
With just the two of us here, we were able to snack on this soup for a few days – and it was awesome.
Looking forward to making this one again when the weather really does cool down!
notes & tips for this lasagna soup recipe
- If making traditional lasagna feels a little beyond your cooking skill, I promise this recipe is the perfect way to get your cheesy pasta fix the easy way. I also haven’t joined the “made from scratch” lasagna club yet, and a big part of that is that this soup fulfills all my cravings without all the effort.
- I used ground beef in this recipe, but there’s a lot of support for using pork sausage, too. For more lasagna tips (that can also apply to this soup!) check out these Five Secrets of Building the Ultimate Lasagna.
- If you like this dish, be sure to check out other Italian classics like Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana, Baked Spaghetti Casserole, Meatball Sub Casserole, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, Baked Italian Sausage Ravioli, Creamy Italian Baked Eggs, Cheesy Spaghetti Stuffed Peppers, Easy Cheesy Manicotti, and Creamy Pesto Shrimp Pasta.
- And if you’re in the mood for soup, a few of my favorites are Crock Pot Minestrone Soup, Crock Pot Ham and Vegetable Soup, Weight Loss Wonder Soup, Chicken and Gnocchi Soup, and Creamy Crock Pot Potato Soup.
For the Lasagna Soup
In a large skillet, brown and crumble ground beef over medium heat. Drain excess grease.
- Place ground beef in a large stockpot and allow pot to warm up over medium heat. Once pot is hot, add in olive oil and chopped onion. Cook until onions are fragrant and translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add in garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add tomato paste and stir thoroughly until all ingredients are tinted with a red hue. Cook for another 3-5 minutes or until tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
- Stir in diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring sauce to a boil and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add fusilli pasta directly to soup and cook to package directions until al dente, typically 10-12 minutes.
- Before serving, mix basil, salt, and pepper (to taste) in with the soup.
For the Cheese Topping
In a small bowl, add ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Use the back of a spoon to mix the ingredients together by pressing the cheese down and around the sides.
Putting it all Together
When serving soup, sprinkle a dab of mozzarella cheese on the top of the soup, then spoon 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese mixture on the mozzarella. Sprinkle with more fresh basil, if desired.
Recipe adapted from A Farm Girl's Dabbles.