Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Soup's On: Lasagna Soup

I have a binder where I keep a good number of my recipes. I want to properly cite where I got this recipe because whoever gave it to me deserves a thanks, but I can't. In the binder it's on a copy of an editorial page from the Chicago Tribune next to a recipe for coffee syrup. It's an ink jet copy, and I must have carried it with wet hands because some of the instructions have been penciled back in. According to the editorial the recipe has been adapted from the lasagna soup in the Windsor's Lounge at the Palmer House Hilton.

My husband can make it look so pretty.
It tastes even better than it looks.

It's a great soup. I served it a few years ago at my church's women's retreat. It got rave reviews, and there were no leftovers. It really tastes like lasagna.

Lasagna Soup

4 oz Italian sausage, removed from casing, or ground beef
1 small onion, diced

It appears I have no brand loyalty.
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 can (15 oz) tomato puree or spaghetti sauce
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 beef bouillon cubes
4 cups water
1 tsp each; dried basil, dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
crushed red pepper flakes
3 lasagna noodles, broken into little pieces
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Crumble sausage into a 4 quart nonreactive saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook until browned. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato puree or spaghetti sauce, bouillon cubes, water and seasonings. Heat to a boil; simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

2. Add lasagna noodles; continue cooking until noodles are tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Taste and adjust seasonings; serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese and top with mozzarella cheese.

I've made the soup with both puree and spaghetti sauce. It's equally as good. I tend to use two cans of diced tomatoes because I almost always have them on hand. I also tend to use ground beef because it it's in the house. The hardest part of this soup is breaking up the lasagna noodles. It hurts my hands because the noodles are hard to break into small enough pieces. The pieces expand quite a bit when cooked so they have to be about quarter-sized or smaller to fit on a spoon after they are cooked. I have contemplated putting them in a bag and using a meat tenderizer but haven't tried it yet. Enjoy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Running My 'But' Off

Look over there to the right. See my dailymile mileage. I'm 50 miles shy of my 1000 mile 2012 running goal. I've got 14 days, and I think I may just make it.

In September, when I posted about being amazed at hitting 700 miles and being sad that I didn't think I would hit 1000 miles, my friend Sandy asked a great question. "Do you think you can still make your goal?" So I sat down and did the math on how many miles I would have to do a week in order to hit my goal. It was about 30 miles a week. That's big weekly mileage for me. I guess I could still hit my goal, but...that's a lot of work.

Thanks Sandy, for asking the question.

I talked to my husband about it. 30 miles a week seemed like a lot to me. My husband asked me how many I was doing currently. Between 25-30. "Why let up? " he said. Normally I take it easy after my fall marathon. "You might as well try," he said.'s going to take commitment, discipline and time.

Thanks B, for pushing me forward.

In the past few months, I've finished my math class. I've home schooled my girls and worked part-time. Occasionally, I've slacked off on making dinner. And I've run my 'but' off. My husband has been so supportive. I've gotten up early to put in miles. I've run two-a-days. I still do a long run every weekend. I got sick one week and couldn't run the requisite miles so the next week I ran to make up for it. I've topped out at almost 40 miles a week. It's been crazy. And it's been rewarding to see the goal get closer and closer.

50 miles to go. Better get to bed, I've got an early morning.