I love my lasagna sauce and frequently leave just a little bit of it in the pan at the end so that I can indulge myself…it’s Cook’s Rights, you know. I hadn’t ever considered that with more moisture I could turn the sauce into a soup. I am so inside-the-box sometimes. The Tevia (it’s tradition! Fiddler on the Roof) part of me that locks my brain into one way of thinking is so annoying.
Now don’t go sitting there all pompous and say that you always think outside of the box. Of course you don’t. The words “always” and “never” are absolutes and here is a hint for nurse test taking: if a test question or answer includes either of those words, then the question is automatically false or the answer on a multiple choice exam can automatically be considered incorrect. Just FYI.
Oh, and here is a fun little conundrum for you—did you ever consider that the more outside-of-the-box you think, the more inside of someone else’s box you get? For instance, I was watching one of those reality TV shows about finding antiques or valuable junk that just needs a little work on it. The show’s hosts were out driving around looking for possible junk treasure troves and passed a very unusual house. While the hosts were wandering around the outside of the house marveling at the wacky creativity of the paint job on the house, the two characters that lived in the house arrived on their even wackier tandem bicycle.
The show hosts introduced themselves to the home owners and explained why they had stopped to investigate the unusual house. They asked “can we see inside the house and maybe find something that you would be willing to sell?” Thing One and Thing Two cheerfully allowed the men inside the house to look around. The outside of the house was only a tiny teaser for what lay inside the house. The owners were definitely on the fringe of society, completely outside of the box–waaaaaaaaaay outside of the box. But wait, for as ‘outside of the box’ as they were, they had actually entered someone else’s box; they were the living, breathing representations of Dr. Seuss. They had not intended to be Dr. Seuss characters, but there they were, slap dab in the middle of Whoville right in the confines of their own home.
We all struggle for individualism, something that sets us apart from all of the other people that make up humanity. But seriously, why do we often work so hard for this? We are already there. No two people are just alike. We lump people together into ‘types’ and say that within those ‘types’ everyone is alike. Nope, there’s still subsets within the set. (And please, let’s not use the snowflake analogy here, okay?)
I could obviously write an entire discourse on this subject, but I really started out talking about Lasagna Soup. So, let’s get back to my version of this soup. (I’m sounding like Sandra Lee from Food Network—ever notice how often she uses the word ‘my’?) The recipe is probably very much like other versions of lasagna soup; I mean, really, they are all pretty much the same. Did I just shoot myself in the foot with that sentence? I didn’t want to mislead you into thinking that I had a corner on the market for this considerably wonderful soup idea. Essentially, this is pretty much the same lasagna sauce recipe that I use for lasagna except it has been turned into a soup. Sooooo delicious. By the way, this makes a very large amount of soup.
Tastes like lasagna, except that it is a soup! Make it spicy or mild, your choice.
- 1/2 pounds bulk Italian sausage, spicy or mild
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 (28-ounce cans) roasted tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves (I used fresh, but dried would also work)
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 2 teaspoons sugar, optional
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes, optional—recommend only using this if using mild Italian sausage, the spicy Italian sausage already has the red pepper flakes
- grated mozzarella cheese and/or grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces dry pasta shape of choice—suggestions: orichetti, rotini, radiatore, mini lasagna noodles–these shapes will allow the elements of the soup to cling to them and will deliver both a nice bite of pasta and soup together
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the sausage. Break up and cook sausage for 2-3 minutes, then add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring as needed, until the onions are translucent.
- Stir in the tomatoes (with juice) and tomato sauce.
- Add the chicken stock, water, basil, oregano, parsley, bay leaves, granulated garlic, granulated onion, sugar (if using) and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir together, then bring to a simmer.
- Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes then taste for seasonings. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for another 15 minutes, then raise heat and bring soup to a low boil. Add the pasta and stir. Keep soup at a low boil until pasta is al dente; stir occasionally to keep pasta from sticking to bottom of pot. Remove bay leaves before serving.
- Serve soup in individual bowls, top with mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese as desired.
- I used fresh herbs in this soup. As indicated, dried herbs will also work, but may not be quite as flavorful as fresh.
- You will notice that although I use both fresh onions and garlic, I also use dried, granulated onion and garlic. I have found that the granulated forms of onions and garlic give an extra flavor boost.
- Two serious no-no’s—tomato soup (don’t you dare), celery
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
This post is linked to Miz Helens Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday 12-22-11
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