Happy Sunday, friends! As I’m sure a lot of you do, my family usually enjoys a “family” day on Sunday. Of course, as I am writing this Dan is gone for the day at the Chiefs game with some friends, but he will be back this evening. Dan’s work schedule takes him out of town for most of the week, but he is usually home on the weekends and on Monday for Boy Scouts. Also, my almost-16-year-old Ashton is gone hanging out with friends. However, as a general rule we are all usually together on Sunday, and it is one of my favorite days of the week.
Since we normally eat a big meal after church, Sunday evenings we usually make popcorn. I made a batch of this soup today that I have been wanting to try and think it turnout out delicious. One of my favorite soups has always been tomato. Cold winter evenings with tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner is one of my favorites. This is a kicked-up tomato soup.
The original recipe is from Paula Deen I just changed a couple of minor things. Her recipe uses all ground beef, and I used 1/2 sweet Italian Sausage. I also left out the extra salt because I think the broth is usually salty enough. She serves this soup with crostini that sound good, but we just had the soup. I make a wonderfully cheesy Fondue bread that I think would be really good with this. I’ll have to share the recipe sometime. If you don’t have lasagna noodles, any pasta would work. I think that campanelle-shaped pasta would be great as well. It has a ruffled edge a little like a flower.
- 1 pound ground chuck (used ½ Sweet Italian Sausage)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped (I didn't use this much, because of the kids)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth
- 2 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt (I omitted)
- 2 cups broken lasagna noodles
- 1 (5-ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (we used Italian Blend)
- Garlic Crostini, recipe follows
- 1 thin French baguette
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves smashed garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large Dutch oven, combine ground chuck, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well.
- Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan Cheese.
- Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 8 to 10 ovenproof bowls. Evenly sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Add a garlic crostini slice on top. Serve immediately.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut bread into ¼-inch round slices.
- Place on baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper; place in oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Rub each side with smashed garlic cloves.