IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF FALL!
I love fall for a million reasons, one of them being that it’s the start of soup season! I don’t know if any other meal is as comforting as a great soup. Maybe pasta. This recipe is the lovechild of soup and lasagna, which means that it’s so comforting that it’s like a hug in a bowl!
This is a lightened-up version of one of my favorite soup recipes. Because lightened-up means you can make it more often. And because spinach cancels out cheese. (#girlmath)
The first way this soup is made a little healthier is by subbing out the sausage for ground chicken, and then spicing it up with some of the usual hot Italian sausage suspects: fennel seed, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, oregano, garlic, basil, brown sugar, and poultry seasoning. This saves some calories AND helps you use up some spices sitting in your cupboard.
I also substituted low-fat cottage cheese in this recipe for the ricotta cheese. My mom always uses cottage cheese in her lasagna instead of ricotta. It’s way lower in calories and fat, but gives you a similar taste! If you want the texture to be smoother like the ricotta, you can whip it up in a food processor or blender first. I also threw in a couple of handfuls of spinach, because adding greens makes me feel better about eating everything. And then I don’t have to bother to make a salad.
I love making a big batch of soup towards the beginning of the week in the fall so that we can reheat leftovers all week long. Because of that, I definitely recommend cooking and storing the pasta separately for this kind of soup so that it doesn’t suck up all of the liquid and get mushy as it sits in the fridge. I switched out the regular pasta for a whole grain pasta to increase the vitamins and fiber.
Cheeeeeese. Doesn’t just looking at that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
(Don’t be overwhelmed by the long ingredient list. Most of it is just spices! Remember, if you click each ingredient or direction, it crosses it off as you cook!)
Lightened-Up Lasagna Soup
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 8 servings||Total:|
This healthier, comforting lasagna soup is like a hug in a bowl!
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. ground chicken or turkey breast
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 to 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (we used 2 because we like things spicier!)
- 1 tsp. fennel seed
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 tsp. sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 4 to 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 28-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 8 oz. whole grain fusilli or whole grain mafalda pasta
- a couple of handfuls of fresh or frozen spinach
- 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
- 8 oz. cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (plus more for topping)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat some olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
- Season the ground chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pot to begin browning. Break it up into bite-sized pieces with a spoon or potato masher.
- Add the onion, red pepper flakes, fennel seed, poultry seasoning, paprika, brown sugar, basil, oregano, and garlic to the meat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are tender.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute longer, until fragrant.
- Deglaze the pan with about a cup of dry red wine, and let it reduce for a couple of minutes.
- Pour yourself about one glass of dry red wine. (Refill as needed.)
- Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for about a half an hour.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Mix together the cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir fresh basil and spinach into the soup and add salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, scoop some cheesy goodness into the bottom of a soup bowl. Add some cooked pasta, then pour some hot soup over top. Garnish with more mozzarella and fresh basil, if desired.
Recipe adapted from A Farmgirl's Dabbles
Emmy stole a piece of basil to taste test for us. She’s so helpful!