Lasagna Soup

Lasagna soup

Our weather has been flip-flopping between warm and chilly.  For a while there, the days and nights were really beginning to feel like proper fall.  I even had to break out the down comforters for the beds, because I was getting cold at night.  The air was smelling so crisp and clear.  Sigh… I love Fall.

But, now, we are back to late summer temperatures again.  Muggy, and somewhat warm.  Thank you New England!  Be as it may, I still am craving soups.  I thought that a great way to kick-off soup season would be with this killer looking lasagna soup.  I mean really.  Tomatoes, noodles, hamburger and cheese?  You can’t go wrong!

Lasagna soup

My husband thoroughly dislikes ricotta cheese, so I opted not to put in the cheesy mixture.  Instead, I did a mixture of cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, served along side a hunk of crusty bread.  It was fabulous.  The kids loved it, we loved it.  It was a great, hearty dish for a chilly evening.  I look forward to making this again this winter.

Lasagna Soup

Yield: 8-10 servings

For the soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons. dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cup chicken stock
  • 8 oz.  fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Cheese topping
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add hamburger, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 8 minutes.  Stir in onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes.  Then, stir in the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.  Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir until hamburger is coated.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns slightly brown.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente.  Stir in the fresh basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the bay leaves, and serve in individual bowls, and top with a sprinkling of each cheese.

Source: Adapted from 300 Sensational Soups, via A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

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Pizza Swirl Bread

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So pizza is something that we have regularly in our house. My daughter especially loves it. “Pepper-oni” is what she always asks for. Sometimes we order from the store when I really don’t feel like cooking. Other times I like to make it, with help from the kiddos. (When I say “help”, I mean they sit there and eat the mozzarella cheese and occasionally put a piece of pepperoni on the dough.)

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This particular recipe is a favorite, but I don’t make it as often as I wish I did. Maybe because it’s a little more time consuming than other pizzas. And maybe because I want to eat the whole thing myself? Just maybe… It’s cheesy, pizza bread at its best! And well worth the extra effort.

(P.S- still no baby and I am now 11 days overdue! Eeeekk!)

Pizza Swirl Bread

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces grated parmesan cheese
  • 20-30 slices pepperoni
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce, or more if desired
  • 1 Tablespoon italian seasoning

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine milk and 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Heat until bubbles appear on the sides then turn off heat and set aside.

Measure out 1/4 cup of warm water and combine it with yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until foamy.

Lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 4 x 2 inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Gently whisk the egg with the milk/butter mixture. In the bowl of an electric mixer (using dough hook attachment), combined flour and salt and lightly mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add in milk/butter mixture, then yeast mixture. Mix on medium speed until dough comes together, about 5-6 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and lightly flour your workspace, then knead by hand for a minute or two. Add a few more teaspoons of flour if dough is sticky until it becomes smooth.

Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Brush one tablespoon all over a bowl, then place dough in bowl and coat with butter. Cover the bowl and set in a warm place to double in size for about one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

After dough has risen, punch out the air bubbles, flour your workspace again, and roll into an 8 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread tomato sauce on first, then minced garlic and garlic powder, then mozzarella, then pepperoni, then parmesan, then italian seasoning. Starting at one of the short ends, tightly roll dough into a loaf. Place in loaf pan and brush with remaining melted butter, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan.

Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is, originally adapted from Martha Stewart