joyeux cuisine

a blog about good food, family, friends, and life.

lasagna soup.

Soup. Day 2.
(aka: I realized I haven’t made anything with pasta in it in a couple days…)

We had a snow storm yesterday. We’re on Spring Break. Spring. Break. Nature is super weird sometimes. My dad’s school had a snow day. Those lucky kids. Apparently they closed all the offices at my college as well. Of course we would have a snow day over a break. Of course.

I’ve never really been a big soup person, which sounds crazy after two soup posts in a row, but it’s true. Also, I don’t know if I’ve every posted 3 days in a row. That’s what happens on a break where super cool parents buy all your ingredients. (Word.) But this year has been a big soup year for me. It started last summer when I was living at school and my boss at the time and her husband had all their student workers over to watch the Marvel superhero movies and eat food. The night I went we had soup and watched Thor. We had delicious soup and fantastic company. What more do you really need?

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Creamy soups are my favorite. Broccoli cheddar is a big favorite. Preferably from Panera, but I won’t (usually) be picky. We used to have this restaurant in my town called the Dollar Diner where you could get anything for $1. It was great. Not a super awesome date place though. Trust me on that one. They had all these different soups and lasagna soup was one of them. That was my first experience with this kind of soup and unfortunately it wasn’t a super great one. Oh well, live and learn.

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I’ve been wanting to recreate this for awhile and finally found a really good recipe. I halved and changed it a little bit because I made it for my parents and I (little brother hates soup). But it is amazingly delicious. You can use any kind of pasta you want, I used ditalini and it was the perfect soup pasta. There’s so much flavor in this broth and the noodles soak it all up and become extra delicious. And there’s a cheesy surprise in the middle. It can’t get any better than that. Unless you add garlic bread. Yeah. Now it’s better.

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Make some soup. Play in the snow. Knit some stuff. Have family time.

Lasagna Souprecipe adapted from a farm girl’s dabbles
serves 3-4 people

for the soup:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 14-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups pasta

for the cheese:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the sausage, break it up into bite sized pieces, and cook until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add the chopped onions and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Add tomato paste and stir well. Cook until the tomato paste darkens, about 2-3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and vegetable stock. Cover soup and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook 3 minutes under the time the box says.
While the soup is cooking, make the cheesy center. Mix ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
Place a dollop of the cheese mixture into each bowl. Ladle soup over/around cheese and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Serve immediately.

If you have extra, store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat on the stove over medium-low heat.

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baked potato soup.

Cheese. Bacon. Potatoes. Butter. Sour cream.

That’s a list of delicious things. I don’t know if you knew or not.

I’ve been looking for a baked potato soup recipe forever. Eventually I figure out the basics of the soup and then I found a recipe to inspire me the rest of the way. The internet is great for that.

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I love baked potatoes. Making it into soup on a snowy day just makes sense. There’s just something about standing over a pot on the stove stirring a concoction of cheese, cream, and potatoes. It just makes everything feel a little more okay.

Make some soup. Curl up on the couch. Watch a movie. Eat some cookies.

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Baked Potato Soup
adapted from seeded at the table
serves about 6 people

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large potatoes
4 green onions, chopped
1 package bacon
1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 8-ounce jar sour cream
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Clean and poke potatoes with a sharp knife. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool (seriously don’t burn yourself). Peel with a paring knife and cut into small cubes. Set aside.
While potatoes are baking, fry bacon in a large skillet. Allow to cool and crumble into chunks. Set aside.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until combined well with butter. Add milk and stir until thickened, about 10 minutes, over medium heat. Increase heat by a little bit and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the sour cream, crumbled bacon, and cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and potatoes are slightly broken down. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with extra cheese and bacon.

If you have extra, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat on the stove over medium-low heat.

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taco salad. aka: not a cafeteria lunch.

Recently my Saturdays have been full of early mornings and nonstop hours of band and socialization. This usually leads to be being burnt out on people and activities. This leads to the unhealthy habit of eating really poorly the next day. Or even that day. If I don’t have good food in my apartment, I’ll probably just eat pop tarts for dinner…like yesterday…also, I don’t know if you know this but cafeteria food is gross. And not always really good for you. I tend to avoid it. All the time.

To remedy the situation of not having food here I decided to be like my friend Bethany. She is really good about making food and having it ready for anything. She’ll be safe when the zombie apocalypse happens. I started today by making a bunch of taco meat to keep in the fridge/freezer for awhile. Then I made a salad. I don’t even like salad that much. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Here’s some possibilites of things to put in and on your taco salad:
Lettuce (that’s a given)
Taco meat (also a given. I just buy the little packets and make that with ground beef. someday I’ll learn to make my own)
Cheese
Tortilla chips
Doritos
Sour cream
Salsa
Tomatoes (let’s be real..if you add salsa are tomatoes just overkill?)
More lettuce
Cheese (I really like cheese)

Make this your own. Do what you like. Be yourself. Remember to be nice to people.

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easy mac n’cheese.

Need a quick lunch idea? This is mine. My mom has been making it forever and it’s probably way better for you than mac n’cheese out of a box. Although I am a sucker for boxed mac n’cheese. I’ll be honest.

This has been my go to lunch for the summer. It’s pretty cheap (great for college kids) and pretty delicious (great for everyone). All you need is noodles, some block American cheese (like Velveeta), some milk, and butter. That’s all. Kids love this. At least my brothers and I did when we were kids. That’s gotta mean something right?

This doesn’t even need an oven. It’s wonderful. You can add anything you want to this. I don’t even measure the normal stuff. My mom adds some frozen vegetables. I just eat mine plain. It’s how you want. Make it your own. Just like life. (Yeah, I totally connected life to macaroni and cheese. That happened.)

Easy Mac n’ Cheese

makes 1 serving, adapt amounts to suit needs

3/4 cup uncooked noodles (I like elbow or rotini)

splash of milk

butter

Velveeta

shredded colby jack cheese

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and return to pan. Add enough milk to cover the bottom of the pan. Add about a spoonful of butter. Add however much Velveeta you want to get your desired cheese amount. Allow everything to melt in the pan while stirring. When everything is melted together pour into a bowl and top with some shredded cheese. Enjoy while hot and maybe with some chicken nuggets.

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