I am a HUGE soup fan, so when I came across this recipe I was more than a little excited! Talk about comfort food at its finest! I think this is my new favorite soup! I love all of the different flavors, and the way they blend together. There is so much going on in this soup, I had to have 2 bowls just to take it all in.
(Ok, so that was just my justification!) If you only try one new recipe this week, make this soup!! We served it with some fresh crusty bread, heaven, people, pure heaven!
for the soup:
1 pound Italian sausage
3 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 t dried oregano
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 T tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
8 oz mafalda pasta (these look like little lasagna noodles, but more curly)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
salt and fresh ground paper, to taste (I didn't need any salt in mine)
for the cheesy yum:
8 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t salt
pinch of fresh ground pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Brown sausage in a large soup pot over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain off extra grease. Add onions and cook until they are softened. Add garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time or the pasta will be mush. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
To serve, place a dollop of cheesy yum in the bottom of each soup bowl, top with some grated mozzarella. Ladle the hot soup over the cheese.