Recipe: Luscious Lasagna Soup

lasagna soup recipeWith some of the coldest days and nights of winter still ahead, a warm bowl of soup is the perfect meal.  Lasagna Soup is loaded with Italian sausage, diced tomatoes, red peppers, lasagna noodles, and seasoned with an Italian spice blend including oregano, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and basil.  Put this hearty soup at the top of your new recipes to try in 2013.

 The beginning of a new year usually brings resolutions of healthier eating.  By substituting Italian turkey sausage for traditional pork Italian sausage, 25 percent of the calories and half the fat are cut from the recipe. If you wanted to omit the meat altogether you can do that too.  With the base of the soup being tomatoes and red peppers, it is high in vitamins A and C and has the added health benefits of fighting heart disease and improving memory.  Using low sodium chicken stock cuts back on the salt in the dish.  The Italian seasoning is readily available at the grocery store and contains the ideal combination of spices needed to give the soup an authentic taste.

 This recipe can be adapted to your tastes by adding your favorite vegetables.  Along with the shallots and red peppers, add chopped zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and even bite-sized pieces of green beans to up the vegetable benefits in the soup.

 Soups are always a hit on a frigid night and a couple seasonal side dishes will complement the meal.  Pair Lasagna Soup with a crisp salad of romaine lettuce, shaved fennel, and sliced oranges that is drizzled with a light vinaigrette.  A few crunchy crostini sprinkled with a bit of Parmesan cheese and popped in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes complete the meal.

 Chase the winter chill away with a simmering pot of Lasagna Soup on the stove.

Lasagna Soup

serves 4

1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing

1 large shallot, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

2 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 lasagna noodles broken in small pieces (don’t use no-boil noodles)

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

In a large stock pot over medium high heat add the Italian sausage.  As the sausage cooks, break it up into bite-sized pieces.  Continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes until the sausage is browned and cooked through.

Add the shallot, red pepper, and garlic to pot and sauté for 4 – 5 minutes.  Add Italian seasoning, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add noodles and continue simmering the soup for 8 – 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender.

Serve soup in large bowls sprinkled with Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses

 Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 310 calories; 122 calories from fat (39 percent of total calories); 14 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 23 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein.

Amy Casey, of Sparta, is a cookbook author and a food columnist for the New Jersey Herald.  She has developed a wealth of recipes as a personal chef and also while cooking for her own family of five.  See more of her recipes on her website www.amycaseycooks.com.   Her recently published cookbook is entitled Dinner for a Year  52 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Spice Up Your Family Menu Planning.   Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amycaseycooks and on Twitter at @amycaseycooks.

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Author:Deborah Smith, Executive Editor

Deborah Smith is the Founder and Publisher of JerseyBites.com, a collaborative website focused on food news in New Jersey.

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