Winter is finally striking here in Massachusetts…the ice cold wind this morning really made the mild, balmy days of December seem like a distant memory.
What better way to warm up then with a yummy, cheese, hearty soup?? I initially found this recipe here on Damn Delicious’ blog and switched it up a bit! Mixing the seasoned ricotta cheese into the tomatoey broth creates literally a slurpable (real word? maybe?) delightful lasagna and we couldn’t get enough of it.
If you prefer, use the sausage that the recipe originally called for as I’m sure it would be delish, too! Or use 1/2 beef, 1/2 sausage…I’m now wishing I thought of that sooner!
On that note, grab the crustiest baguette you can find and let’s get to making this soup!!
- 8 oz. cooked small-sized pasta (I had a bunch of small pasta shapes to finish so don’t mind my mismatched results!!)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 93% lean)
- 3 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 8 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 14oz. cans fire-roasted tomatoes (I used ones with garlic)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
- 8 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
~ In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, a bit of salt and pepper, and 1 tbsp. of Italian seasoning. Mix until well combined and then set aside.
~ In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil. Cook the onion for about five minutes or until they start to become translucent. Add in the garlic and continue to saute, keeping a close eye on the garlic as it will burn easily.
~ Cook the meat with the onion and garlic until it is browned. If you use a fattier meat, drain off excess fat. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Allow to cook for a few minutes together so the spices perfume the meat. 🙂
~ Stir in tomato paste until just combined, creating a dark red mixture.
~ Pour chicken broth, canned tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes into the pot and continue to taste for seasoning. I use low-sodium broth because I like to control sodium content in my food. If you feel you need more salt, add it now.
Aren’t these cherry tomatoes so pretty?!?
~ Bring the soup to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened — about 30 minutes.
~ Stir in pasta and cook for another few minutes so the pasta is warmed through. Add in mozzarella and fresh herbs — stir to combine.
~ Scoop the soup into bowls and place dollops of the seasoned ricotta on top. As the ricotta starts to melt, stir it into the soup.
With each swallow of soup, feel your soul get warmer — seriously 🙂