If you love lasagna, then you will love this recipe. My friend at work, Marie, showed me a new recipe from Bobby Deen (Paula Deen’s son who is trying to put a healthier twist on Paula’s meals). “Lasagna soup” sounds very strange and I was really hesitant at first. But this lightened up lasagna really tastes like the real thing. It has a LOT less cheese and pasta. You lose out on calories, but NOT on flavor. I’m so happy she turned me on to this recipe. I have a feeling I will be making it many, many times in the future.
Here is the link to Bobby’s recipe, which of course I slightly altered. I am not a fan of green pepper so I substituted with fresh finocchio. I added red wine because I would add it to my gravy I use in lasagna and I decided to top the dish with cheese and broil it rather than stir it in for a nice bubbly crust.
- Italian Chicken Sausage, 2 links or about 1 lb (Whole foods makes an excellent one where you can read and understand all ingredients.) You could also just buy ground chicken and season it well with salt, pepper, and fennel seeds.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- Finocchio (few stalks)
- Fresh basil
- Parmesan Cheese, few tablespoons
- Part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Part-skim t ricotta, 1 large spoonful
- 4 whole wheat lasagna noodles
- Tomato Puree (San Marzano tomatoes are the best, you can find them at Whole Foods)
- Diced Tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Italian red wine (optional)
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, more salt, and crushed red pepper. I also added the red wine I was drinking. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes.
Bring to a boil again when you are ready to add the noodles. Break the noodles in small enough pieces so they will fit on your spoon.
Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. You can add a squirt of tomato paste to thicken it a bit more.
Remove from the heat; stir in the ricotta. Turn your oven broiler on.
Spoon the soup into oven safe bowls and top with parmesan and mozzarella.
Bake until the cheese bubbles, sprinkle with fresh chopped basil and serve. Nosh and Mangia!