What if I told you that you can have your lasagna and eat it too? This soup makes it happen.
Lasagna is one of life’s greatest gifts. Cheesy, comforting goodness–though definitely not the most waistline-friendly. So not cool. But with this soup, you get all of the tasty goodness of lasagna in a lighter, soupier form.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t, like, a soupy lasagna. It’s Vegetable Lasagna Soup! Its tomato-y base is made with veggie broth and Italian seasonings–I was going for the flavor profile of marinara. Then we load up on the vegetables–mushrooms, spinach, and zucchini if you like. And then there are even some white beans for some added protein. They’re perfect.
Of course, lasagna noodles are the first type of pasta we want to reach for here. I like to break them into bite-size pieces, but even then, they can be a little unwieldy while eating. Rotini is a solid choice that’s a little easier to eat–though perhaps a little less fun.
The dollop-de-résistance? A little signature cheesy goodness in soup-topper form. We mix together creamy ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan, then plop a big spoonful right on top. Just drag a little cheesiness into every bite of soup, and you might just forget about plain ol’ traditional cheesy lasagna. Psh. Boring.
1/2 cup chopped parsley + more for garnish if desired
For the cheese topping:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Set a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the tomatoes and break them up with a sturdy spoon or mash with a masher. Add the vegetable broth, beans, mushrooms, zucchini (if using) and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add pasta and cover again. Simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes more.
While the soup simmers, make the cheese topping. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Set aside.
Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Stir in the spinach and parsley and cook until the spinach is wilted, about one minute. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with a big dollop of the cheese mixture and a sprinkle of chopped parsley if desired, then serve.