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! 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.
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
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
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.