Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lasagna Soup

I'm not a big fan of traditional lasagna, I think it has to do with the ricotta and cottage cheese that are typically in between the layers. Whenever I make it at home I try to leave those ingredients out, you probably think I'm weird but I enjoy it that way.

This has got to be one of the best soups I've made to date, hands down. I felt like I was enjoying a dish of lasagna for dinner. It contained all of those wonderful Italian flavors that we love, except in a soup form. I picked up some nice crusty bread from Panera Bread to dunk into our bowls, it was great! The kids were busy fishing out the noodles in their bowls, I think that was their favorite part.

This made for a pretty quick weeknight meal but I'm sure this would be adaptable for the slow cooker as well. I'll list instructions below for both. We even had plenty leftover for lunch the next day, it tastes even better the next time around.

Lasagna Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp brown sugar
2-15 oz. cans chicken broth
1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
5 broken lasagna noodles
1 c grated parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese for topping

In a large skillet combine ground beef, green pepper and garlic; crumble beef and let cook until browned. Drain well and then add in thyme and brown sugar. While that's cooking, in another pot combine chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and salt. Let come to a boil.  Add in cooked ground beef. Add in broken noodles and let simmer until noodles are tender, about 15-20 mins. Stir in parmesan cheese. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese on top if desired and serve with a nice crusty bread.

Slow cooker instructions: Brown ground beef in a skillet along with green pepper and garlic. Add in the thyme and brown sugar. Dump chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and salt into slow cooker. Add in cooked ground beef and stir well to combine. Let cook on low during the day while you're at work, etc. About 30 minutes before serving, turn slow cooker up to high and add in broken noodles. Let those cook until tender and then add in parmesan cheese. Ladle into bowls and serve with mozzarella cheese and crusty bread.

Adapted from: Paula Deen

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