Sometimes you may want lasagna without all the effort and sometimes you want your kids to eat more vegetables. This soup will get you there on both fronts! My kids love this recipe for the pasta and the “cheese bombs” and I love it for all the vegetables that get packed into one meal.
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use any variety)
- 28 oz. diced tomatoes with their liquid
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning blend or use a combination of dried basil and oregano
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 8 oz. small pasta shells (conchiglie) (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), or use any cut pasta shape (note this amount is half of a standard package of pasta)
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- 8 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering, but not smoking. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté until the onions are translucent, 8 – 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, and ½ tsp. black pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- When the soup has reached a boil, add the pasta and set a timer for 2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time on the pasta box. While the pasta cooks, coarsely chop the spinach.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, and remaining ½ tsp. of pepper and stir well.
- When the timer goes off, add the spinach to the pot and continue cooking for 2 more minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. Serve immediately with a generous dollop (2 Tbsp. - ¼ cup) of the cheese mixture on top of each bowl. The soup can be prepared and refrigerated for 3 days before serving.
Slow Cooker Directions
- Omit olive oil. Combine onion, carrots, celery, garlic, broth, tomatoes, seasoning blend, salt, and 1/2 tsp of the pepper to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 - 3 hours, or on low for up to 12 hours. Meanwhile, chop the spinach and combine the cheeses and pepper as instructed. 30 minutes before serving, add the pasta and spinach and turn the slow cooker to high. Serve topped with generous dollops of cheese mixture in each bowl. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the onion, dice the carrots and celery, grate the Parmesan cheese if necessary and refrigerate, prepare the cheese mixture, or fully prepare and refrigerate the soup - cooking and storing the pasta separately, tossed with a little bit of oil to prevent sticking, and keeping the cheese mixture separate until serving. Scramble Flavor Booster: Sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes into the soup, double any of the herbs you want. Tip: If you are making a soup with pasta ahead of time, keep the pasta separate until serving, otherwise the pasta will absorb most, if not all, of the liquid and get mushy. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 348, Total Fat: 11g, 16.5%; Saturated Fat: 4g, 19.5%; Cholesterol: 19mg, 6.5%; Sodium: 744mg, 31%; Total Carbohydrate: 48g, 16%; Dietary Fiber: 7g, 27%; Sugar: 8g; Protein: 15g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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