This soup is one of our favorites. It’s hearty and filling, and easy – with all the flavor and substance of lasagna, but still light enough not to make you feel like you’ve eaten three days’ worth of calories in one sitting. It’s another Culinary in the Desert recipe, one that we adapted to our personal taste.
One of the great things about this recipe is it gives you something to do with those broken lasagna noodles that congregate at the bottom of the box. Alternately, you can use any kind of pasta. This time I actually used cheese tortellini, which of course was delicious.
The original is here, and I’ll post our adaptation below.
- 1 lb. Italian sausage, or ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 4 cups chicken (or beef) broth
- 1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, or regular diced tomatoes, or diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning… any of the above will do.
- 1 small can (8-10 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 cup dry pasta (broken lasagna noodles, other miscellaneous pasta you have lying around, etc.)
- Few handfuls of fresh spinach
- Diced provolone cheese (optional, for serving)
- Parmesan cheese (optional, for serving)
In a dutch oven over medium-high, brown sausage (or ground beef). Add onion and cook until softened. Mix in the garlic, basil, oregano, and salt – cook 1 minute. Pour in the broth, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and add in the pasta. Simmer soup until the pasta has cooked. Mix in the fresh spinach and cook until wilted – about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To serve (we don’t always do this, but it is delicious) – place 1 ounce of diced provolone in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle soup on top, and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan.
Now… I can’t say enough about this French bread recipe. I was blown away by the ease and deliciousness. I have quite a few no-knead bread recipes, but this one is unique in that it does not take a longer rising time than a kneaded bread. I added rosemary, but of course you can add different herbs, or none at all. JW loved this bread. We ate an entire loaf.
No-Knead French Bread
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 1/4 cup oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- Herbs (optional)
Dissolve yeast, warm water, and 1/4 tsp sugar in small bowl or measuring cup.
In large bowl, stir together hot water, 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar, salt, and oil. Add 1 1/2 cups flour and mix until well blended (you can do this with a wooden spoon). Stir in yeast mixture.
Add 1 1/2 cups more flour, and herbs if desired, and mix until well blended. Dough will still be quite sticky. Leave in bowl, cover, and let rise 1 hour, stirring halfway through.
Divide dough into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on what size loaves you want. Roll out each piece on floured surface into the length desired, then roll up lengthwise like a jelly roll.
Place on parchment paper or greased cookie sheet, sealed side down, and tuck ends under. Slash top diagonally every couple inches with sharp knife or kitchen shears. Brush with egg white.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and let loaves rise 30 more minutes.
Bake 20 minutes. (Mine got a little too brown, but I baked it for 22 minutes and my oven runs hot)