Submitted by Patricia Coldwell. This soup provides a hearty welcome to fall as the days cool down. It lends itself to endless variations, depending on your preference and what’s in your pantry and garden. I made it tonight with homemade turkey sausage, but you can use ground beef, purchased Italian sausage, or ground chicken, or add more veggies to make it vegetarian. Use whatever herbs you have in your garden or patio pots. The recipe calls for canned tomatoes, but you could sub out fresh tomatoes. The recipe freezes well, but if you do freeze it, I suggest you cook the noodles and add them to the soup after defrosting so they don’t absorb all the broth. You can also make this in a crock pot. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Add the noodles in the last half hour of cooking. Top with cheese mixture when serving.
Adapted from Skinny Taste website by Gina Homolka
14 oz. Italian turkey sausage (casing removed if not bulk)
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, torn
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground pepper
½ t red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 ½ cups water
1 14 oz. can tomatoes
2 T tomato paste (I use the double-concentrated kind in a tube)
6 oz. broken lasagna noodles
6 T part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup part skim ricotta cheese
3 T freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup basil chiffonade
Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, spray or drizzle with olive oil and add the sausage. Cook until browned (about 5 minutes), breaking it up with a spoon. Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Add parsley, broth, water, tomatoes and paste, bay leaves and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan, and 2 T parsley and mix
Add the broken pasta to the soup and cook uncovered according to package directions.
Divide between 6 bowls and top each with 2 T ricotta cheese mixture, mozzarella, fresh cracked pepper, and top with fresh basil.