Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Skinnytaste" Weeknight Back-to-School Recipes: Day 5



FS_SlowCookerLasagnaSoup_SMALLAt last, we've made it to the end of the week and have a couple of days respite from packing lunches and wrangling kids out the door.  Still feel like cooking?  Maybe not so much.  And therein lies the beauty of slow cooker soup.

This final school-night dinner recipe from Gina Homolka is included in Skinnytaste Fast and Slow which comes out next month--I'm glad to have one last preview of the cookbook to share. Lasagna Soup has the comfort food feel that you need at the end of a long week, without all the fat or time spent standing over a stove. 

It's been lovely to let Homolka figure out what I'm making for dinner this week---if you missed any of the earlier posts here they are for your reference:

Day 1: Easiest Pasta and Broccoli
Day 2: Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken
Day 3: Bangin' Good Shrimp
Day 4: Grilled Cumin-Rubbed Skirt Steak Tacos with Pickled Red Onions


SLOW COOKER LASAGNA SOUP
SERVES 6

I love taking classic dishes, such as lasagna, and turning them into soup. It's a wonderful way to enjoy some of my favorite meals for a fraction of the calories—but don't let the sound of that fool you. This soup has everything you love about lasagna in one big bowl. Plus, it's finished with a big dollop of a ricotta-Parmesan-mozzarella blend that's so creamy and cheesy you won't believe it's good for you.

TOPPING
1⁄2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

SOUP
Cooking spray or oil mister
14 ounces sweet Italian chicken sausage,* casings removed
1⁄2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth*
2 cups marinara sauce, homemade (see Skinny Scoop) or store-bought
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
6 ounces lasagna noodles,* broken into small pieces
6 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese*
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper

*Read the labels to be sure these products are gluten-free.

For the topping: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, and parsley. Refrigerate until the soup is ready.

For the soup: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add the sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it browns, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker and add the broth, 2 1⁄4 cups water, the marinara sauce, parsley, bay leaves, and pepper to taste.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

About 30 minutes before the soup is ready, remove the bay leaves and add the spinach and broken pasta. Cover and cook on high until the pasta is cooked, about 30 minutes.

Divide the soup among 6 bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture, and sprinkle with the mozzarella, basil, and pepper to taste.

skinny scoop To make quick marinara: In a medium pan over medium-low heat, sauté 3 smashed garlic cloves in 1 teaspoon oil until golden. Add 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil.

time-saving tip

Using a mini chopper or food processor saves time in the kitchen. I keep mine on my counter to slice and dice all my vegetables.  

PER SERVING about 1 1⁄2 cups
CALORIES 310
FAT 10 g
SATURATED FAT 3.5 g
CHOLESTEROL 72 mg
CARBOHYDRATE 30 g
FIBER 3 g
PROTEIN 23 g
SUGARS 2 g
SODIUM 959 mg

 

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