It’s so hearty and delicious, and makes a wonderfully satisfying main course soup. It has all the fabulous flavors of a meat lasagna and is loaded with vegetables. The broth is divinely rich and thick. Each large, 2-cup serving, including Parmesan cheese on top, has 262 calories, 6 grams of fat.
1 pound (96%) extra lean ground beef or 99% ground turkey, see shopping tips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cupsfresh mushrooms, sliced
3 cups zucchini, sliced
1½ cupsonions, chopped
4 cupsreduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) candiced tomatoes, undrained
1(14 oz) jar pasta or pizza sauce, such as Barilla, Prego, Ragu or Classico
1 teaspoondry Italian seasoning
⅛ teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
Black pepper, to taste
5dry whole grain or whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups dry noodle pieces)
2 cupsfresh spinach leaves
Ingredients for Topping:
¼ cupgrated Parmesan cheese
In a large nonstick pot or pan, brown the beef with garlic. Cook and stir often until beef is browned and crumbled. Pour into a colander and drain the fat.
Add beef back to pot. Stir in mushrooms, zucchini, onions, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Uncover and increase heat to medium-high to return the mixture to a boil. Stir in the noodle pieces. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Let sit for 5 minutes for spinach to cook.
I like this soup thick. If it becomes too thick during cooking or too thick to suit your taste, add about ½ to 1 cup water. This soup does thicken when refrigerated. Once heated it does get thinner.
To Serve: Ladle 2 cups of soup into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese.
This soup freezes great!
Makes 12 cups total. Each main course servings, 2 cups of soup and 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese.
Happily, most supermarkets sell lean ground beef. I used the 96% lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s.There are several brands of whole wheat or whole grain lasagna noodles that will work great for this recipe. I used a brand called Eating Right and bought it at Vons/Safeway. WW Freestyle SmartPoints 4-Blue(made with 99% ground turkey) WW SmartPoints 6-Green (made with extra-lean ground beef) WW POINTS PLUS6
SKINNY FACTS: for a 2 cup serving with Parmesan cheese 262 cal, 6g fat, 2g sat. fat, 43mg chol, 24g protein, 32g carbs, 7g fiber, 741mg sod, 10g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints 132 calories, 1g sat. fat, 7g sugar, 7g protein