Here is another recipe I found on the Weight Watchers Recipe Review board. It was posted as someone’s lighter version of Paula Deen’s recipe for Taste like Lasagna Soup. Over the years I have made it my own. My Mom always made lasagna with a mix of beef and Italian sausage, so I added fennel seeds, red and black pepper to impart a little of that flavor. It is delicious. I garnish it with just a little cheese that quickly melts from the heat of the soup. This is to keep it on the light side. It is still very cheesy and has those wonderful stretchy cheese strings. If you are not worried about the calories load up on the cheese as Paula intended. Just don’t miss out on this soup. It is so good! Comfort food if you ask me.
Serves 8 -10
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 (14-1/2 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups dry campanelle or rotini pasta
8 tsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Heat a large Dutch oven to medium high heat, add olive oil and ground beef. When meat begins to brown, add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook stirring occasionally until beef is browned and onion is translucent. Season beef mixture with salt, black pepper, red pepper, fennel seeds and Italian seasoning. Continue cooking a minute stirring to combine.
Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer partially covered for 15 minutes.
Add pasta and simmer another 11 minutes or until noodles are tender. Serve in soup bowls topped with 1 tsp. Parmesan and 1 Tbsp. mozzarella cheese.
Note: I prefer campanelle shaped pasta. They look like little “belles” or “lilies”. When they cook they look like broken pieces of lasagna noodles. This shape is not always available so I substitute rotini pasta. This shape looks like a “corkscrew”. [Click here for a link of pasta shapes.]
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