Feb 252013
 

Third weekend in a row of snow (not nearly as much, but still annoying) and yet another pot of soup.  This time, I tried Bobby Deen’s Lighter ‘Tastes like Lasagna’ Soup.  I am happy to report it really lived up to the name!

I made this soup even lighter by reducing the amount of sausage and adding mushrooms for more bulk.  You still get all the flavor from the sausage, I promise.  And I mixed in both mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, just like lasagna.

Thanks to Tuttorosso for the tomato sauce which they generously provided to me.  You can’t have lasagna without tomato sauce, and it was great to have this can in my pantry.  It gives this soup a rich red color and fresh tomato taste.

 

Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna Soup

3 links mild Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 t minced garlic
1 (16 oz.) package mushrooms, sliced
4 c. vegetable broth
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 t Italian seasoning
4 whole grain lasagna noodles (such as Ronzoni’s Healthy Harvest), broken into bite sized pieces
1/2 c. reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large pot on medium heat, begin to brown sausage meat.  As it cooks, add onion and garlic. When meat is almost browned, add mushrooms and saute until tender.

Add broth and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil.  Add Italian seasoning.  Add noodle pieces, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cheeses.

-Lightly adapted from Bobby Deen

Feb 122013
 

Big snowstorm = Big pot of soup.

This week, I decided to try Pepperoni Minestrone, loosely based on this recipe from Eating Well.  I normally make vegetarian soups, so this was a nice change of pace.  The (turkey) pepperoni is really just an accent, but it does add flavor.

I thought I didn’t have any pasta left in the house after my Tuna Noodle Casserole, but I had some leftover lasagna noodles from the Crockpot Vegetarian Lasagna project.  I broke them up, and while they weren’t as pretty as elbow pasta, they worked.

Even using low sodium broth, this soup was just a bit salty for my taste.  Of course, I could also blame that on the pepperoni!  But it was still a good bowl of warm soup, and will make lunches for the week.

 

 

 

Pepperoni Minestrone

1 T olive oil
1 c. chopped onion (fresh or frozen)
4 c. low sodium fat free beef broth
1 t thyme
3 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces
1 (16 oz.) package frozen zucchini
1 (12 oz.) package frozen peas, carrots, and green beans
1 (28 oz.) can plum tomatoes in juice, tomatoes coarsely chopped
2 oz. diced turkey pepperoni
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion, and saute until tender and lightly brown.  Add broth and thyme and heat until boiling.  Add pasta pieces, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add vegetables, tomatoes with juice, pepperoni, and beans and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.

Jan 302013
 

Making lasagna the traditional way is a very tedious process.  You make your own homemade tomato sauce the first day, then assemble the lasagna the second day.  You can either bake it right away, or freeze it for later.  And it’s amazing, right?

This recipe is for a quick lasagna inspired by Eating Well, where your crockpot does most of the work.  You do sacrifice the pretty presentation of neatly cut squares, but this is still a delicious dish!  And those of you who like a saucy lasanga will really appreciate this version.  There’s a bit of extra liquid, but just serve it with a slotted spoon, and scoop up the extra sauce with a piece of crusty Italian bread.

Tomato season is so short in New England, so this recipe is made possible by some excellent canned tomatoes.  Tuttorosso was kind enough to send me some of their canned tomato products to sample, and they were great as promised.  There’s nothing like a freshly picked tomato in August, but canned tomatoes are the next best thing and available year round.

 

 

Here’s the lasagna, ready for serving.  Grab a spoon and dig in!  Garnish it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese of course. 🙂

 

 

Crockpot Vegetarian Lasagna

2 c. part skim ricotta
1 egg
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 T minced garlic
10-12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 c. part skim mozzarella, divided

In a large bowl, mix ricotta, egg, Parmesan, mushrooms, and spinach.  In a medium bowl, mix crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and garlic.

Coat inside of crockpot with cooking spray.  Add 1 1/2 c. of the tomato mixture to the bottom of the crockpot.  Break noodles to fit into crockpot, and form a single layer of noodles over the sauce.  Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.  Spread 1 1/2 c. sauce over the ricotta, followed by 3/4 c. mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layers, starting with noodles, and then ricotta mixture, sauce, and mozzarella.  Add one more layer of lasagna noodles, followed by all remaining tomato sauce.  Cook on High for 2 hours.

Remove cover, and add remaining mozzarella.  Cover and cook on Low until cheese melts.

-Lightly adapted from Eating Well

Tuttorusso sent me the tomatoes as a gift.  I was not compensated in any other way, and the opinions in this post, as always, are mine.

Jan 032013
 

Am I drowning you in soup recipes?  Sorry about that.  But is IS cold here.  And soup generally requires just one big pot which minimizes the dishes.  I’ll try to do something different this weekend.  Maybe I’ll make some bread to go with the soup?!  🙂

Stracciatella is a traditional Italian soup, although it’s not something that my Italian grandmother ever made.  I learned about the soup from this recipe in Eating Well, which inspired me to try my own.  My version includes broth, beans, pasta, and spinach, but traditionally you don’t need to include all of these.  The eggs are whisked in at the end, and create thin, white strands throughout the soup.  It’s very cool to watch!

It’s also very delicious, and the kind of soup that makes the perfect meal on a cold day.  I wasn’t sure how this would hold up as leftovers, but it reheated beautifully.  The second bowl was a little thicker because the pasta soaked up some of the broth, but it tasted just as good.  Now I’ll go work on some bread.

 

 

Stracciatella (Italian Egg Drop Soup)

6 c. vegetable broth
2 c. water
1 (14 oz.) can small red beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. pasta stars, or other small pasta
8 oz. frozen leaf spinach
4 eggs, beaten
Black Pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan

In a large pot, heat broth, water, beans, pasta, and spinach until boiling.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and pour in eggs very slowly, whisking them into the hot soup.  Season with black pepper, and serve garnished with Parmesan.

-Adapted from Eating Well

Dec 032012
 

I featured plenty of sweet treats on the blog last week, so I thought we’d start off the new week with a simple, healthy recipe.  A dish with a lot of vegetables, but still warm and comforting.  Sometimes you just need a BIG pot of soup.

I was initially inspired by this Spinach, Tomato, and Orzo soup recipe.  But when I was strolling down the pasta aisle looking for orzo, I spotted these adorable little stars.  They aren’t whole grain, but I couldn’t resist.  I do think they make the soup a little more fun!

The soup is very thick, more like a stew, but the consistency makes it quite filling.  You can easily add another few cups of water or broth to thin it out if you like.  I added Parmesan cheese, and then swirled it in the soup with a spoon until it melted.  It was exactly the kind of recipe I needed, and I will be digging into this pot all week long.

 

 

Spinach, Tomato, and Stars

1 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes with basil
1 (16 oz.) package frozen spinach
4 c. vegetable broth
2 c. water
1 c. stelline, or other small pasta

Heat oil in a large pot.  Add garlic, and saute for 1 minute.  Add onions, and saute for 10-15 minutes, until soft and lightly brown.  Add tomatoes, spinach, broth, and water, and bring to a boil.  Add pasta, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until tender.