Lasagna Soup – Nance & Robyn Make The Same Recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Lasagna Soup, found over at PaulaDeen.com. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and I was looking forward to it, but a little iffy on it, too. Because I like lasagna, but I kind of don’t like little chunks of tomato in soups and stews. I can’t help it, there’s something about tomato chunks in liquid that ooks me out, the way they float around glaring up at me, looking all chunky. Maybe it’s ’cause I hated tomatoes as a kid (though loved ketchup and didn’t mind tomato sauce, go figure) and it’s a holdover from that.

ANYway, because I am a ray of shining light, I was willing to deal with chunky tomato bits for the team. I’m wonderful like that.

Ingredients:

Lasagna Soup (1)

Ground beef and cheese and lasagna noodles and spices and tomato stuff and such. The original recipe calls for a chopped green bell pepper, but I don’t do peppers, so I just increased the amount of onion instead.

In a dutch oven, combine the ground beef and chopped onions and garlic and cook over medium-high heat ’til the beef is browned and crumbly. Is there anything better than the smell of ground beef, onion, and garlic? I think not.

Lasagna Soup (2)

Drain it!

Lasagna Soup (3)

Combine everything except the cheeses and noodles in the dutch oven.

Lasagna Soup (4)

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add your noodles and stir until the noodles are tender. I don’t like feeling up noodles for tenderness, so I checked the package that the noodles came in to see how long they needed to cook, cooked them for that long, and assumed they were tender. Then stir in your parmesan cheese.

Preheat the broiler in your oven. Now, the recipe says to “ladle the soup into 8 – 10 ovenproof bowls.” Well, I wasn’t going to do that, because there are only two of us, and why the hell would we make 8 – 10 bowls of the stuff for just the two of us?

So I just made the two bowls, sprinkled a bit of mozzarella on top of each bowl of soup, and then broiled the soup ’til the cheese was melted.

During the part of the recipe where I was waiting for the noodles to tenderize, I made crostini. I have no idea at this point if Nance made the crostini or not, but I felt it was important that I have pieces of garlicky bread to shove in my face. It’s pretty easy – slice a baguette, brush the slices with olive oil, salt and pepper it, cook it ’til it’s brown. Rub it with smashed garlic, then think to yourself “Hey, wouldn’t a sprinkle of cheese on this bread be the perfect touch?”, sprinkle mozzarella on each slice, and stick it back in the oven until the cheese is melted.

Crostini (1)

Crostini (2)

Then serve slices of crostini with the soup.

Lasagna Soup (6)

The verdict: thumbs way, way, WAY up! This stuff was SO FREAKIN’ GOOD. You know how I mentioned my dislike of chunky tomato pieces? I totally did NOT even notice the chunky tomato pieces. We ate this for dinner for two more nights, and then I got three lunches out of it. We will absolutely be making this again. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is to break the lasagna noodles into smaller pieces. Other than that, this recipe is perfect as is!

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Nance’s Take:

I do not even like soup.  Soup is messy.  I am an uncoordinated slob and it always ends up where it’s not supposed to be. Dribbling down my face. On my clothes. Ugh. I am way too obsessive to be a good soup eater. Awkward people fret about eating in public bad enough without worrying about holding the spoon just right. Not slurping. OHMYGAWD, THE BRAIN WORKS SO HARD FOR THE SOUP! It’s not worth it!

So yeah. I have no idea why I picked this recipe either. I’m not a huge Paula Deen fan (although with my love of butter you’d think she would be my queen). I liked her well enough before she got involved with branding and her name was on everything. I really remember an ad campaign that ran on the aisle televisions at the local Walmart. It would creep me out because she sounds exactly like my mother-in-law. Same accent, same voice. I was forever forgetting about those televisions and turning around looking for my mother-in-law when I was in that store. Drove me nuts. Speaking of nuts, have you seen the Paula Deen Riding Things Meme? Hilarious.

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Shirley took this picture. It is the only picture she took of the onions so it is safe to assume that there will not be a How To Cut An Onion Lesson again.  It makes me laugh when I see that onion because it was huge and we’ve just been chopping parts of it off at a time instead of cutting the entire thing.  Creative people up in here.  Or lazy.  Heh.

Note: my pictures are going to be even worse than they normally are because I was trying to learn how to use a new flash.  You can pretty much see where my career in photography is heading.

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Good thing I bought that spice rack from Sam’s Club a while back. Otherwise, I would have no idea what exactly Paula Deen meant when she wrote Italian Seasoning in the ingredients list. And also, would not have had time to go buy Thyme (har-dee-har).

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I did not take a picture of the ground beef browning experience because I’m thinking you guys know how that looks. And we’re just going to pretend that those are petite diced tomatoes in there because I had cans of regular size diced tomatoes in the house.  Pro-tip:  You don’t need a dutch oven for this recipe.  A regular ol’ pot will do just fine.

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I made the executive decision to add more than 2 cups of broken lasagna noodles because of the first paragraph in which I wrote that I’m not a big fan of soup. The measuring cup above is a standard 2-cup measuring cup. We just heaped it as high as it would go.

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Action shot! Just imagine how great this picture would have been if I would have had decent lighting?

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I did not have a thin French baguette to make crostini with. I did, however, have some French hard rolls because I was in a sandwich kind of mood the day before. Points for improvisation!

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Voila! It was more Taste Like Lasagna Chili instead of soup because I used so many noodles, but everyone here loved it so I was happy. It also made me realize that this is a lot less hassle than making lasagna the normal way (cooking the noodles, layering everything, etc.) so it will definitely show up in the meal rotation.  I think I’m going to play around with fresh noodles (Shirley has a pasta roller and knows how to use it) and ricotta cheese next time to see what I come up with, but it’s a keeper for me!

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You knew I wasn’t going to forget to show Felina taking one for the team.  God bless that little shit of a dog.  Obligatory reminder: We wash our dishes with dishwashing detergent, hot water and chlorine bleach. It’s all good!

(Comments closed due to spammers.)

 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 (32 ounce) box chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup broken lasagna noodles
  • 1 (5 ounce) package grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • -----------------------
  • Garlic Crostini:
  • 1 thin French baguette
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven, combine ground chuck, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well.
  2. Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender.
  3. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
  4. Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 8 to 10 ovenproof bowls. Evenly sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Add a garlic crostini slice on top. Serve immediately.
  5. For the garlic crostini:
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Cut bread into ¼-inch round slices. Place on baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; place in oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Rub each side with smashed garlic cloves.

 

Comments

Lasagna Soup – Nance & Robyn Make The Same Recipe — 41 Comments

  1. I cannot believe you went out and got a loaf of bread, but damn, yours look really good and now I’m craving a serious crostini!

    • Y’know, the only bread we had on hand was the whole wheat bread Fred uses, and some blueberry bagels. Since we were at Publix anyway, I figured I might as well follow the recipe. They were good!

  2. Yumm! Lasagna with half the work sounds perfect!

    Robyn, your soup bowls (Fire King?) are the same that my Grandmother had!! I haven’t seen or thought of those in years… *sniff*

    Nance, I was a fan of Paula Deen until she bastardized her perfectly fine Southern accent for TV. Being from Georgia, I knew of her long before she hit the big time and felt the need to get so damn hokey and butter-obsessed…

    • She does seem to crank the accent up a bit, huh? I’ll give it to the MIL, hers is just normal and not so “clownish” – ack, you know what I mean!

      I think I really lose interest when she was pushing Smithfield Hams. But I’ll give it up to her for making the sandwiches and selling them to support her sons. Good on her for the hustle! 😉

  3. That looks really, really good.

    I wish to God it wasn’t eighty-five freaking degrees here a week before Christmas because this seems like it would be a perfect it’s-cold-outside dinner.

  4. Have you seen the Paula Dean Magazine?? now that is scary! she photo-shops the living daylight out of herself (more rightly I should say she tells someone to do it) because EVERY SINGLE PHOTO of her in that magazine looks EXACTLY the same.. she starts looking like a pod person after page three..

    Robyn, I too can’t stand chunks of tomato in my soup..

    • I actually get the Paula Deen magazine, and you’re right, she’s airbrushed and photoshopped to within an inch of her life!

  5. Ditto on the chunky tomato dislike. I make a Southwest soup that calls for 2 cans of diced tomatoes. I run those suckers through a blender. No tomato chunks glaring up at me.

    • When I was a kid, we’d go over to my grandmother’s house for dinner. She often served spaghetti, and I’d pick out the chunks of tomato like a bitchy little princess. My poor grandmother. She’d say “But I chopped them up really small!” and I’d be all “But I can still see them!” I was such a brat.

      • Not a big fan of the tomato chunks either but I can eat them now at least. I used to gag with great drama when we had pork chops for dinner as a kid. I like them now. I have no idea what grossed me out about them back then.

  6. I cooked this tonight. Of course I used stuff on hand like parmesan that you shake out of a jar and plain old garlic toast AND I stirred in some Ricotta I had laying around. THIS is delicious.

    I also didn’t have an ovenproof bowls so I just put the mozzarella on top of the whole kit and caboodle and put the lid on to melt it. Still delicious.

    • I love recipes that are flexible enough that you can use what you have on hand. Those sound like some great substitutions, Pam! 🙂

  7. I’ve printed out a couple of different recipes for this and never tried any of them. Sound familiar Robyn? With two thumbs up I’ll try this one, probably this weekend. They’re saying the weather is finally going to normal temps. Cold. Yuck!

  8. A hot bowl of soup will melt cheese even without a broiler, although it won’t brown it.

    Living on my own, I make a lot of soups because I like it and it freezes forever. Those serves 4-6 things take me like a month to eat.

  9. I will try this, except for the garlic & broiler stuff. I’m always looking for good soup I can eat for several days up here in Cleveland, especially with the first snowstorm headed our way! Love you guys! ♥

  10. Whats up with the hate on tomatoes and soup? Just to be contrary, I love both. In fact, I eat a delicious roasted red pepper and tomato bisque at least 3x a week for lunch.

    Recipe looks delicious though. I am glad someone confirmed the brown sugar in the bowl. I couldn’t figure out what it was initially (I’m just drinking my first cup of coffee)

    Also, my dogs pre-wash all of our dishes too. I don’t bleach them afterwards though – you’re warned if you ever eat a meal in my house. But on the plus side, no sickness here for at least the last year.

  11. This looks good and easy enough! I am planning to have some friends over after Christmas and I thought we’d have a soup-and-salad thing because really…who can eat another piece of turkey/ham/roast after all the Thanksgiving and Christmas parties? I have this 3-pot crockpot/warmer thing and was thinking of 3 different kinds of soup; this would be a great addition! Question, though: Do you think it should be lasagna noodles? Can it be any other pasta? Will it make a difference?

    Thanks both of you for the very entertaining posts and your readers’ comments!

    • Keeping in mind that I am NOT a pasta aficionado and don’t really understand the whys and wherefores of which pasta to use for what reason, I think that it doesn’t necessarily have to be lasagna noodles. I wouldn’t use, like, angel hair pasta, but maybe another thick noodle? Nance, do you have more smarts about noodles than I do, I hope? 🙂

      Also, your 3-soup party sounds like fun and I assume we’re invited. 😉 I’ll bring the kittens!

      • My friend has that three burner thing and has done three soups too. I should send her this recipe. It sounds good and easy. I adore soup. It is messy but at home I don’t care and the less expensive places we frequent these days it’s not too humiliating when I wear it. Big boobs wear all food, don’t they? Just try to get the dark quiet corner. I just give less of a shit about what strangers think these days. I would have enjoyed my younger years so much more if I felt this way back then.

      • When I was in elementary school there was a soup/stew in the school lunch that was a lot like this, with macaroni noodles in it.

        You could use that instead.

  12. OK, all you tomato chunk haters, do your stores not carry crushed tomatoes? But, don’t get Hunt’s brand because they grind up the whole tomato, tough skins and all and you get tons of those rolled, pointy skins.

  13. I’m with you, Robyn. I also dislike cooked tomato chunks. Raw tomato chunks? Fine. But cooked? Eww. I think it’s a texture thing. My husband doesn’t get it, but he will eat anything. ANYTHING. The man used to work in China and has ingested some weird shit. They have something called “bad smell tofu” there. It is what it sounds like. And he has eaten it.

    At any rate, I’m going to try this recipe in spite of my tomato-chunk hatred because I trust your judgment!

  14. This sounds really good! Kind of like chili mac, which I haven’t had in years. Cracking up at the tomato-chunk hatred, my daughter is the same way-she even picks them out of pizza sauce. It is definitely a texture thing for her.

    I hope all DCEP fans have a happy holiday season!

    Thanks to Robyn and Nance for such a great site-whenever I see a new recipe, it brightens my day!