Another cold week with lots of snow in Denver and all that you want is comfort food but then you think, dang I can’t eat that. It’s January and the time that I am spending in the gym will be a waste! That’s what happened to me this week. I was craving lasagna, a big ol’ piece of Italian love. Dang the craving was there but my conscious said no until I decided that a soup would be good and lasagna soup came to be. I made this soup as healthy as I could. Tons of added vegetables, ground turkey, turkey sausage, part skim ricotta cheese to make it decadent without adding cream and I made the pasta on the side so that I could control the portion size. It ended up being one of the best soups that I have ever made and may be my new substitute for lasagna all together. To me, soup is love and this lasagna soup is a big dose of amore!
As you have probably heard (it’s no secret) Coloradans love their beer. We were one of the first states to develop craft beers. Heck I still remember my craft beer that I drank when I landed here on August 5, 1990. (I know weird but it was my Mom’s birthday). It was a 90 Shilling made by the Odell Brewing Company. It’s still one of my favorite beers but they have since gone mainstream (good for them) but since I am always on a quest to enjoy local small businesses, the door is wide open to experience the other 250 craft breweries on the front range! I better start drinking! Ha! Anyway, I was invited this week to try out St. Patrick’s Brewery in Old Littleton. Funny thing, I play tennis next to this brewery but have never stopped in. Big mistake! St. Patrick’s is adjacent to my favorite Creole restaurant. Lucille’s , in Denver so I’m not sure why I haven’t. What a nice surprise! Not only was the atmosphere awesome (tons of amazing art work painted by the proprietor Chris), a beautiful fire place, cool bar, a dance floor, the “actual” brewery and the beer garden (we couldn’t enjoy this because it was covered in snow)! Supposedly, their beer garden was rated as one the top 10 beer gardens in the country! That’s pretty impressive if I do say so myself. I digress…. Let’s talk about their beers. Dang good stuff. First of all, I’m kinda a lager gal so St. Patrick’s is right up my alley. They specialize in lager beers but take it a step further. They take a “foodie” approach to crafting beers as they layer the flavors with seasonal ingredients that bring unexpected twists to the beer. I tasted some great beers but my favorite was their Luminosity Lager. It is a honey lager and voted as the best honey lager in the country. No wonder why I liked it! Good stuff. This week, St. Patrick’s is going to start serving Lucille’s famous food. This is a big deal because most of our breweries don’t serve food and another reason to make this brewery my new stomping ground! Make sure you stop by St. Patrick’s brewery. Totally worth it and you can thank me later! 🙂
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 carrots, diced
- 8 oz mushrooms, chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 3 Italian sausage links (I used turkey sausage), sliced or castings removed
- 1 28 oz can tomato sauce
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound of your favorite pasta, cooked to package directions
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh Parsley and Basil
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a large stock pot with olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey, sausage, salt, pepper, bay leaves and Italian seasoning. Cook until meat is no longer pink.
- Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth and simmer for 30 minutes. Do not boil just simmer on a medium low heat.
- Stir in the ricotta and Parmesan cheese until melted.
- Place a handful (or whatever size you like) of pasta in a bowl. Ladle the soup over the pasta and top with chopped parsley, basil and more Parmesan cheese.
If you prefer to make this soup with ground beef and "real" sausage, just cook the meat first, drain and set aside. Add the beef back to the vegetable mix after the vegetables are cooked through and follow the remainder of the recipe.