When it comes to food, I’m all about instant gratification. Some nights I don’t even eat a real meal because I’m too busy stuffing my gullet with the raw ingredients (or, okay, piles of pretzels dipped in peanut butter). As a result, for years I didn’t touch my slow cooker. If I’m too impatient to see one of Rachael Ray’s 30-minute meals to completion, how could I prep a meal, only to return to it 6-8 hours later to finally eat it?
How wrong I was. Slow cooker meals are like the Christmas morning of the food world. You dump ingredients into it, put it on low, go to bed and wake up to the delightful scent of a quasi-gourmet meal waiting for you. Or, conversely, you do the prep in the morning, leave for work or school, and come home to a warm dinner. It’s as close as I can get to a robot housekeeper a la Rosie in the Jetsons. Unless I could somehow strap a Roomba to it and it could clean my apartment at the same time…hold up, I need to look into patents for that.
Whether you’re a Wisened Elder of the Order of Slow Cooker or a naïve little grasshopper, you need to make this Lasagna Soup. Invite all your friends over, so they can shower you with compliments over what a brilliantly talented chef you are. You don’t have to tell anyone your Roomba-Slash-Slow-Cooker Housewife did it. Or that you’re in a committed relationship with an appliance (though no judgment if this recipe leads to a slow cooker love affair).
This slow cooker lasagna soup recipe was adapted from this version at A Farm Girl’s Dabbles, which I highly recommend checking out if you enjoy all things delicious.
- 1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
- 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves
- 4 cups chicken stock (or low-sodium chicken broth)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pound sausage, broken up into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 package Rotini pasta (or whatever kind you prefer)
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced (optional)
- 1 8-ounce container ricotta
- Shredded or shaved parmesan
- Mix the tomato paste, fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, chicken stock, water, sausage and basil in the slow cooker, then put on the lid and let it cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours. (Full disclosure: I've cooked it on low for 12 hours, and it was just as fantastic.)
- About 15 minutes before you're ready to eat, boil the pasta and cook it according to the package's directions.
- Add a scoop or two of pasta to each bowl, add a scoop of ricotta, then top with the soup. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese and/or salt and pepper, to taste.