A warm lasagna soup that has all the flavors of a traditional lasagna dinner, but without all the extra steps! This soup is hearty and comforting!
Down in Texas, we’re back up in the 80s this week. Yes, you read that right. I had a t-shirt and flip flops on yesterday – in the beginning of December. What the what?
I guess i’ll turn crank up my air conditioner, pretend it’s winter, and slurp on this amazingly warm and comforting soup. I kid you not, we kinda sorta like this soup better than traditional lasagna. And who doesn’t love the fact that you can control how much pasta goes into each serving? I know I do!
But every time I tested the recipe, it was missing that oomph. I’d make a few changes in the quantity of spices but it would always end up being all just one note. And if you’re going to have lasagna soup, it better taste like a lasagna in a soup form. I put the soup on the back burner from a while, being burnt out on recipe testing.
And then a few nights ago, I was reading The Good Girl. Side note: Have you read it? I’m just about half way through. And it’s pretty interesting so far! Anyway – in the book, the main characters mother is making lasagna (or rather, burning lasagna, I should say) and she uses a sprinkle of fennel seeds. FENNEL SEEDS. That was it!
So the next morning, I made the recipe, keeping everything else constant from the last few edits and only adding in ½ teaspoon of fennel along with all the other ingredients and … IT WAS MAGIC! ????????????????
Who knew a national bestseller would help me bring my lasagna soup A game? During the testing phase, I made this into a one pot lasagna soup but I found the noodle soaked up all the liquid when I went to warm up the leftovers the next day. So I opted to boil the pasta separately. It’s so worth the extra step. I just add a few pieces of noodles to the bowl before ladling the soup on top.
The ricotta cheese and parmesan mixture is my favorite part of this soup! It’s a simple combination of ricotta, parmesan cheese, a few tablespoons of chopped parsley and basil, with salt and pepper. So simple, but man! It takes this soup to the next level! I also shaved some fresh mozzarella fresca on my soup and man. I was floating in lasagna heaven! A few slices of crusty bread to dip into the soup and this has officially become my most favorite meal. Ever.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 ½ cups yellow onion, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (to preference)
- ½ -1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to preference)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes, diced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 large bay leaf
- 8 ounces lasagna noodles
- RICOTTA TOPPING:
- 6 ounces ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- 5 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- shredded mozzarella
- Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven for medium heat. Add the ground beef, break it down into small pieces, allow it to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Drain excess fat if desired. Add the onions and continue to sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions soften. Add the minced garlic, let cook for 30 seconds of until the garlic is fragrant. Add the red pepper flakes, oregano, fennel, tomato paste, and sugar. Allow the ingredients to coat the ground beef, stirring constantly so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot, let cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tomato paste darkens.
- Add the chicken broth, water, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and bay leaf to the pot. Bring the soup to boil, then cover, allow it to simmer and reduce for 45-50 minutes on the low heat setting. Adjust salt and pepper to preference.
- When the soup has 20 minutes remaining, break the lasagna sheets into 4 pieces each. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Let the lasagna noodles cook according to package directions or until al-dente.
- Combine the ricotta, parsley, basil, parmesan, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Using a spatula stir till combined.
- Add a few noodles to a bowl, ladle the prepared soup on top and top with a dollop of ricotta topping and some shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with additional parsley and basil if desired.
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