Beefy Lasagna Soup

When I put this dinner on the table, I announced to my boys, "I'm calling this Beefy Lasagna Soup". Luke chuckled and said "You can't do that." But I did. And we licked our bowls clean. Imagine this: Tender lasagna noodles, cooked in a rich and meaty sauce of beef, broth, tomato sauce, herbs, and cheese. Quite possibly the best thing I've ever made. In one pot, in less than 30 minutes.

I'm not kidding when I say this is one of the best things I've ever made. You get all the flavors of lasagna, with absolutely NONE of the work. And since the broken-up noodles cook right in the sauce/broth, they absorb a tremendous amount of flavor. The soup is ultra beefy, delightfully cheesy and extra vibrant thanks to herb-spiked broth and tomato sauce. It's show-stopping.
I realize that traditional lasagna contains ricotta cheese. But we're not huge ricotta fans in my house, so I simply left it out. If I were going to add it, I would put a dollop of ricotta on top of the soup just before serving. Feel free to do that if you want!

I topped my soup with chopped fresh parsley because that's what I had on hand. Fresh basil would be great too.

Beefy Lasagna Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and ground black pepper
4 cups beef broth or chicken broth
2 cups tomato sauce (or 15-ounce can)
8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (about 8-9 noodles)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Chopped fresh parsley or basil for serving

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add the beef and cook until browned and cooked through, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add the garlic, oregano, basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, until the herbs are fragrant. Add the broth and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes (and up to 1 hour, partially covered). Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil. Add the broken-up noodles and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the noodles are soft, reducing the temperature as necessary to keep the liquid at a low boil (as the liquid reduces, the sauce gets more vigorous!), stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and simmer for 2 more minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a little more mozzarella and parsley. Serve with extra parmesan on the side.
Serves 4