Winter can be no-man’s land when it comes to cooking. The days are cold and we sustain ourselves with hearty roasts and baked pasta. I am already yearning for soups, salads and other dishes laden with spring vegetables. Lasagna soup falls somewhere in the middle, and fits the bill on many a chilly evening. —Judy Allen
4 to 6
olive oil, plus more for drizzling
hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
sweet onion, diced
cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons
red pepper flakes
low-sodium chicken broth
can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (about 10 noodles)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
chopped fresh basil, plus thinly sliced leaves for serving
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up the meat, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until well blended and paste starts to darken, about 3 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and 1 cup water. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in noodle pieces and cook until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. NOTE: if you want to make the soup ahead of time, or let the pot simmer, boil the noodles separately in salted water, drain and toss them in a bit of olive oil. Then simply ladle the hot soup over the noodles to serve.
While the soup is simmering, stir together ricotta, Parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.
Stir basil into soup and ladle into serving bowls. Top each bowl with a generous dollop of the cheese mixture, slightly swirling it into the soup. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan and sliced basil leaves.