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Every year I host a Christmas cookie baking day for a group of ladies. We spend all day baking, dipping, and decorating. By lunchtime, we are ready for a hearty, satisfying lunch. And because my kitchen is full of baking sheets, sprinkles, and cookies in various stages of preparedness… I need something easy!
My standby is a crock pot full of soup. Maybe cheesy potato, maybe creamy chicken and rice. I like to serve something that I can prepare in advance. Then at lunchtime, all I have to do is heat up some rolls or breadsticks and we’re all set!
This year I made lasagna soup. And there was not a drop left. None. That’s a good sign, right?!
The night before cookie baking day, I browned up a pound of mild Italian sausage with one chopped onion. I stashed it in the fridge overnight. In the morning before my guests arrived, all I had to do was drop stuff in the crock pot and let it heat until lunchtime.
I tossed in one of my frozen basil cubes, but it is equally yummy with just the dried herbs and spices.
Wait to add the pasta, though, until about 30-40 minutes before you want to eat. Otherwise it’ll get really mushy. I used a twisty spiral fusilli pasta (anyone else automatically think of Jerry Seinfeld when they hear fusilli? Just me?)…but you could use any pasta of similar shape/size.
What makes this soup taste really lasagna-y is that you add a scoop of ricotta cheese when you serve it. A sprinkle of parmesan is nice, too.
I served this with rosemary breadsticks from the bakery and it made for a yummy, filling lunch.
I might’ve had a mint brownie for dessert. Maybe.
This soup was easy to mix up, and was perfect by lunchtime cooked on high. But if you needed it to simmer all day, just set the crock pot to low. But be sure to turn it to high when you add the pasta.
What is your favorite hearty soup to serve in the winter?
If you just can’t get lasagna off the brain, check out my husband’s favorite Lasagna Bolognese with Bechamel and my super veggie packed Summer Veggie Lasagna.
Here’s this easy soup recipe: