It’s October and it’s time to bust the soup recipes out again! Each recipe I post from now on will have the nutrition facts to go along with it. (Eeek! Exciting right!?) This will help you (and motivate me) to keep the recipes I share on here more healthy. As always, I strive for taste-bud perfection and will never recommend a healthy substitute if it is less than tasty in my book. I love food, and nothing is more disappointing than making a healthy substitution that makes your dish less tasty.
I really think that it would take far more words than a nice blog post to describe my love for lasagna. You see, my mother always made homemade lasagna a couple of times a month and it sure was a treat whenever it appeared on the table. This was also the first big dish I learned to make. Lasagna has been a family favorite for many years and ranks near the top of my favorite comfort foods.
Lasagna’s cheesy-meaty-garlicy goodness is an ultimate comfort food, but can have some ultimate calories, carbs, and fat. I needed to find a way to make this wonderful dish a bit healthier and I think I hit the jackpot. You know I hate sacrificing flavor for a healthy substitute, but you won’t miss a thing with this soup! I personally promise this will tantalize your taste buds. BONUS: It’s made with lean ground pork seasoned like sausage that in turn becomes wonderful Italian flavors in the soup. I woke up to my house still smelling amazing!
For this recipe, I used lean ground pork and then added my own seasonings for to make sausage so I could control the sodium. I added the sausage seasonings (which are listed below as part of the soup) before browning and then let the pork brown in the pan with the seasonings. I added the liquids after browning and those sausage seasonings turned the broth mixture into a wonderful Italian flavored soup. I use lean ground pork because it has more protein and less total fat than beef and even chicken. Read more about it on my other blog post Healthy Reasons to Put Some Pork on Your Fork.
- For The Sausage:
- 1.5-2 lbs. Lean Ground Pork
- 2 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- ½ Tbsp. Salt
- 1 Tbsp. Ground Pepper (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Dried Basil
- 2 tsp. Paprika
- 2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
- ⅛ tsp. Dried Oregano
- ⅛ tsp. Dried Thyme
- For The Soup:
- 1 Small Onion Chopped
- 2 Cloves of Minced or Crushed Garlic
- 3 Cups Low Sodium Fat Free Chicken Broth
- 2½ Cups Water
- 2 Cups Marinara Sauce
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 6 oz. Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles or Quinoa
- For the Cheesy Topping:
- 6 Tbsp. Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
- ½ Cup Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 3 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese (I used the flaky kind)
- 2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley
- Heat a Dutch oven or large stock pot under medium high heat. Add the ground pork and all of the sausage seasonings from above together and brown. Once the ground pork is almost brown add the chopped onion and garlic from the soup ingredients and let simmer for about 2 minutes.
- For the Soup:
- Add the 3 cups of chicken broth, 2½ cups water, 2 cups marinara sauce, and the bay leaves to the browned meat and stir to mix well. Turn the burner to high and heat to boiling. Once it is boiling cover it and turn down to simmer. Let simmer for about a half hour. After the soup has been boiling for 15 minutes add the crushed lasagna noodles and let them cook until soft. Your soup will be done once the noodles are soft.
- Please Note: The crushed red pepper and black pepper can make this soup spicy, so make sure you are "peppering" to your taste.