Lasagna soup is exactly what it sounds like—a soup that captures the essence of a classic lasagna. It features a tomato broth base infused with Italian herbs, accompanied by bite-sized lasagna noodles, crumbled Italian sausage, and a delightful three-cheese topping. It’s a harmonious fusion of flavors that delivers the comforting and familiar taste of a traditional lasagna in a comforting soup form.
When it comes to making lasagna soup, traditional lasagna noodles are a popular choice. However, you can also explore other pasta options that work equally well. Ribbon-shaped pastas like reginetti and Mafalda, which resemble mini ruffle-edged lasagna noodles, bring a playful twist to the dish. Alternatively, you can opt for farfalle, also known as “bowtie pasta,” or bell-shaped campanelle, both of which pair beautifully with the robust and hearty nature of lasagna soup. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pasta shapes to find the perfect match for your lasagna soup creation.
Why Cook the Noodles Separately?
While it does require an extra pot, I want to make a case for cooking the noodles separately from the rest of the lasagna soup. The main concern here is avoiding mushy noodles.
Flexibility in serving time: If you plan to serve the soup immediately, you can cook the noodles directly in the soup without worrying about them becoming overcooked. However, if you anticipate a longer simmering time of more than 10 minutes, the noodles might become too soft. By keeping the cooked noodles separate from the broth, you have the option to delay serving the soup if needed, without compromising the desired texture of the noodles.
Improved reheating: If you anticipate reheating the soup later, it’s best to cook and store the noodles separately to prevent them from soaking up the broth and becoming mushy once again.
- Add greens: Feel free to incorporate baby spinach, kale, or other greens into the soup. After simmering the soup for 10 minutes in Step 4, add approximately 5 ounces of baby or chopped greens and continue simmering until they’re tender and wilted, for about 5 more minutes.
- Simmer with a Parmesan rind: If you have a Parmesan rind in your refrigerator or obtain one while grating Parmesan for this recipe, consider adding it to the pot in Step 4. Simmering the soup with a Parmesan rind adds a savory depth of flavor. Remember to remove the rind before serving.
- Switch up the sausage: For a lighter option, you can use Italian-style chicken, turkey, or plant-based sausage. Alternatively, you have the option to omit the sausage entirely and still enjoy a delicious soup.
- Large Soup Pot: A spacious soup pot is essential for cooking the soup base and allowing the flavors to meld together. Choose a pot with a tight-fitting lid to trap heat and simmer the soup to perfection.
- Wooden Spoon: A sturdy wooden spoon is ideal for stirring and combining the ingredients in the pot. It helps prevent scratching on non-stick surfaces and provides good heat resistance.
- Ladle: A ladle comes in handy for serving the soup into bowls. Look for one with a long handle and a deep scoop to easily portion out the hearty soup without any spills.
- Cheese Grater: Since Lasagna Soup often includes grated cheese as a topping, a cheese grater is a valuable tool. It allows you to freshly grate Parmesan or other preferred cheese varieties for a delicious finishing touch.
These four tools will help you prepare and serve Lasagna Soup with ease and efficiency. Enjoy the cooking process and savor the comforting flavors of this delicious soup!
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Season with kosher salt and cook the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. If using sausage links, remove the casings before cooking.
Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pot. Cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
Stir in the tomato paste, dried basil, dried oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute to enhance the flavors.
Pour in the low-sodium chicken broth and crushed tomatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
In a small bowl, combine the whole milk ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and a dash of freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Add a scoop of cooked lasagna noodles to each bowl. Top with a dollop of the ricotta cheese mixture, shredded mozzarella cheese, and torn basil leaves.
Enjoy the Lasagna Soup while it's hot and flavorful!