When I bought the ingredients for this soup today it was intended to be “Italian Tortellini Soup”, a recipe I got from a woman who came to a Bible study group I am involved with. It became this Italian sausage & vegetable soup when I realized that I did not use a large enough pot and had to leave out half the mushrooms and the entire package of tortellini. Thankfully the soup came out OK and we’ll be enjoying it for the next few days! It might be a blessing in disguise that my pot was too small. This way we won’t be eating the same thing all week long.
Soup is quite forgiving. The world does not come crashing down when you realize you’ve left something out, don’t have quite enough of an ingredient, added your ingredients in the wrong order, or added more of something than directed. Thank goodness, since almost all of those things happened to me!
Ben was not happy when I told him the tortellini soup had no tortellini. Ben likes tortellini. But he ate it anyway and I think he thought it was pretty good. He had a bowl and a half, so it couldn’t have been that bad. I really liked how chock full of veggies this soup was. The amount of sausage made it just meaty enough and provided a nice flavor. I added a huge handful of torn basil leaves right before serving and that was lovely. I really enjoy fresh basil and am sad I will have to wait until next summer to grow some of my own. I have attempted this before…and failed. But every summer I try again. Maybe this next time I’ll get it right and it won’t wither and die on me.
Here is the recipe, which was adapted more than just a little bit since I was not quite on top of things when I went grocery shopping. I will try out the original recipe sometime and post that as well. Enjoy! (more…)
This week was going to be a busy one. With every other night but Monday being packed with some event, I wanted something to make for dinner on Monday night that would create good leftovers for the week and be quick to reheat. Lasagna it would be. And because I like to try new recipes, I tried this one.
It was OK, but Ben agreed that I have a better white lasagna recipe that I’ll probably stick to for now. This artichoke and mushroom lasagna is pretty spectacular. You can add chicken to it if you want to, but it doesn’t need it. It is a great vegetarian dinner option. I’ve made it for a few guests before and everyone seems to like it…or they’re just being nice!
Anyway, there were some great things about this lasagna. Melted in to the béchamel sauce is a creamy herb cheese that gives a great lively flavor. I made the mistake of trying to use 2% milk instead of whole milk in the béchamel, leaving it pretty runny even after baking. I’m not entirely sure it was just a milk problem, though. When I’ve made béchamel sauce in the past I’ve always made a butter and flour paste before adding the milk. This recipe didn’t call for any flour. I ended up adding some when I saw how thin the sauce was, but it didn’t solve the problem. So, I made some changes to the recipe below to help others avoid the runny béchamel.
Another change I would make it to cut the chicken into smaller pieces. I might even suggest shredding it. The pieces were just a little too big to get a good combination of noodle, mushroom, spinach, chicken and sauce in one bite.
The flavors are wonderful, and I like the combination of ingredients. I skimped on some of the cheese since I have often found lasagnas a bit too heavy on the cheese, but I might have skimped too much since the layers didn’t hold together well. It’s hard to tell what this would have been like if the béchamel had been thicker. It may not need more cheese…but then again it may. I don’t know for sure. I would guess that a thicker sauce would mean the same amount of cheese listed would be fine. But if you like cheese or you just don’t trust me, add more.