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Lasagna Soup



I admit it.

I.hate.beets.

I know.

I know.

Beets are all healthy for you.

All the crunchies love them.

I really WANT to love them.

But ick.

They are all beety, and they dye your hands pink, and they taste like sour dirt, and the tops taste even worse.

Well... this past week... at the farmers' market... as we were walking to the car... in the rain... my hands full of peaches, apples, and grass fed beef... my precious, farmschool, 4 year old said ,"MOM!!"

"Can we please stop here and get some radishes?!" (another vegetable I despise) 

"Sure honey, grab the bunch you want and give this money to the lady."

"Oooooo they have beets too!!! Can we please have some beets?!  Please!!!"

"Sure." 

And there it was.  I had to make a recipe to disguise those gross roots.

I'm here to neutralize them for you too :) 

One of my favorite soups of the fall, winter, and spring... is Lasagna Soup.  It's versatile because you can put pretty much any veggie you want in it - and for some reason... it really does taste like lasagna.  The beets in this version give a broth that's a deep red color and are totally delicious, just like every other part of it.

I am also going to include a quick crouton recipe because... well... because bread is delicious, especially dipped in a savory egg mixture and fried.

Lastly, as always I am going to give you the gluten free version for those of you who want it! I can't promise it will make your children beg for beets at the farmers' market, but our lack of gluten has made our house a happy happy place.


Lasagna Soup
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
1 lb Italian, sweet, bulk sausage

1 tbs olive oil

1 cup (about 4oz.) diced pancetta, bacon, or prosciutto

Lots of garlic cloves, at least 5

5 large carrots
5 large celery ribs
1 onion
3 beets and tops
Handful of fresh oregano and basil

10 skinned tomatoes (you could use canned whole tomatoes… or fresh – score skin, blanch, shock in cold water and peel… that’s what I did!)

1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup of wine (I used red but white would be fine too)

6 cups of chicken stock
6 cups of water

2 cups of dried pasta*
3 cups of fresh spinach

*Gluten freers – I chopped up 6 skinned red potatoes, put them in a separate pot, fried them in a bit of olive oil and then dumped the finished soup on top.  It got RAVE reviews J

In a big soup pot, brown sausage in a bit of oil on medium heat.  Use a little caution if you’re using organic sausage or sausage from a farm – it is typically lower in fat and will therefore need a bit of oil when frying.  Conventional sausage has more fat and might not need any oil.

Chop veggies in equal pieces so they cook evenly and dice garlic.

Add in pancetta, garlic, fresh herbs, and chopped veggies.

Chop tomatoes.

When other veggies have cooked until they are a bit softer add in chopped, skinned tomatoes, dried herbs, and tomato paste.  Saute all together for a bit.

De-glaze pan with wine.  Scrape around the bottom of the pan and get up all the fried brown bits… YUM!

Add in stock and water and bring it all to a boil.

At this point the longer you cook it the better, but it is ready for pasta, rice, cooked potatoes… or your starch of choice.*

I toss the fresh spinach and beet tops in when I put the starch in – it wilts down and is barely noticeable within the soup.

I serve it garnished with mozzarella (in chunks underneath the soup and on top), pecorino Romano cheese, and BIG croutons!

*If you are going to have left overs boil it again the following day and add fresh pasta – the pasta that sits in the soup in the fridge overnight gets swollen and gross – no longer al dente and delicious J
  

Gee Gee’s Croutons
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
Crusty bread* (we make our own OR get the organic rosemary olive oil sourdough bread from Weggies – either will do!)

1/4 cup water

1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried garlic powder
1 tsp dried onion powder

Your frying oil of choice (make an informed one!)

*Gluten free?!  I used an Udi’s hot dog roll – and chopped it up into chunks.  I dipped and fried it first before all the gluten filled bread J

Chop bread up in big chunks.

Scramble eggs with water and spices.

Heat up oil in a frying pan.

BRIEFLY dip bread in egg mixture. 

Fry until golden on all sides.

Put in the oven on a rack on a cookie sheet on warm until soup is ready.

Serve warm… if there are any left from testing how they are… you’ve been warned.



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