Lasagna Soup.

Tonight we invited some friends over for dinner (last minute of course) and I didn't have a clue what I was going to make. I tossed around the idea of making boring tacos -- which always seems to be a staple when we have company over -- and we even joked about just grabbing a Stouffer's lasagna because really, who does it better than Stouffer's?! Or so I thought. I don't know what made me think of it, but I 'pinned' a recipe a while ago for Lasagna Soup and if my memory had served me correctly, when I had made it, it was amazing. And then I forgot about the recipe and never made it again. (typical me) So I jumped on Pinterest and printed the recipe and off to the grocery store I went. Long narrative short, I made it again and it was WAY better the second time around. So I wanted to share it with all of you in case you're ever in a bind and don't want to make just boring lasagna :) And it only took roughly an hour. I didn't make it vegetarian/vegan style, but feel free to substitute where necessary to make it so! ENJOY!

2t olive oil
1 lb Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (I used beef, I know, I'm bad) 
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1 (32 oz) container of chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (I used Italian style ones)
1/2t salt and pepper
1/4t crushed red pepper
4 oz broken whole wheat lasagna noodles (calls for 4, but I used a ton)
1/2c chopped fresh basil

Garnish: breadsticks, Parmesan cheese + mozzarella cheese

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick sauce pot or Dutch oven. Add the meat, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally  until the meat is crumbled and browned, 8-10 minutes. (I want to add that if you're cooking with beef, I would suggest cooking it by itself first so it can be drained easier and you're not losing any of the flavors from the other ingredients)

Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt/pepper and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally  until the flavors are blended about 20 minutes. (Don't panic, it will thicken and be soup like by the end haha) Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mozzarella, basil and Parmesan. Serve with breadsticks. 

Original Recipe from Paula Deen.

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