Thursday, November 5, 2015

Spaghetti Lover's Soup

Spaghetti Lover's Soup is easily made either from scratch, or using leftover meat sauce and spaghetti noodles or store-bought pasta sauce. Starting with The Trinity of southern cooking and adding carrots, provides intense flavor to this broth and tomato based soup. Spoon over pasta, sprinkle with a bit of parsley, torn fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan for a nice finish. Pair it with some garlic bread or slices of a crusty, whole grain bread.

Spaghetti Lover's Soup

Do you find it hard to find balance in your life anymore? Seems that there are so many demands on moms and dads and even grandparents these days, that it's hard to get everything done that needs to be done. Children and chores - just those two topics encompass so much on their own... I honestly do not know how all of y'all do it with more than one child. I have a lot of respect for you, that's for sure, and that includes my son and daughter-in-law. Their lives literally exhaust me.

Besides raising good citizens for starters, there's all the events, programs, parties, activities, athletics, cheer, ballet and dance that come with children. Then there's the mounds of constant laundry and dishes (dishes, dishes and more dishes if you're a food blogger too), housework, dusting, polishing, cleaning, decluttering, meal planning, grocery store trips, finding time to cook at home (instead of drive-through eating)... nevermind all the organizing and paperwork we all have to keep up with in our lives now - insurance matters, legal stuff, taxes, medical appointments and health needs, home upkeep and repair, and lord knows what else I'm missing.

I don't know if it's because I've been out of the real "8 to 5" workforce awhile, or that I'm older now, or perhaps both, but my brain doesn't seem to function as well as it did and then time flies and before I know it... something that I planned to do yesterday is now months (or even years) ago. The good thing I guess is whatever busyness I find myself in with blogging, is by my own doing, so at least I can work on controlling that.

Oh my. Just writing all that makes me want some good fall comfort foods!

Real deal, from scratch Chicken and Dumplings. Beef Stew. Homemade Beef Vegetable Soup. It's just not that kind of weather down here in south Mississippi unfortunately - still feels more like cookout season here to be honest! Though we've had a tiny tease of fall, we're right back to warm and humid days and nights - it's 84 degrees and 70% humidity as I type this and that means it feels like 91 degrees. Hasn't stopped me from drumming up a few pots of soup already though! I think I'm on pot number 4 or 5 already, and I even turned my leftover butter beans into a soup by adding some water, Rotel tomatoes, fresh basil, a pinch of oregano and the next day, some leftover collards! Waste not want not.

This Spaghetti Lover's Soup is also one of them. It's a great way to use up a few cups of leftover spaghetti meat sauce, although it can certainly be made on purpose from scratch as well. Just bump up your seasonings a bit, but remember, as always, taste and adjust before adding anything. You can add more, but you just cannot take it away.

I used some leftover creole daube meat sauce that I had put up in the freezer for this batch. Daube and Spaghetti, is a beef roast smothered in a Creole spaghetti sauce, so I didn't need to add any additional meat. I did add just a bit of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, some Cajun seasoning and fresh basil, which I just tore over the soup before grating some fresh Parmesan over the top. Just delish!

As with all my soups using pasta, I prefer to put cooked noodles into the serving bowl, then top with the soup. You can cook the pasta right in the pot with the soup, but be aware, like with any other pasta soup, the pasta will soak up the juices and, in this case, any leftovers will basically become spaghetti again.

I'm not a big fan of whole wheat spaghetti, though I have absolutely mixed some in with regular spaghetti and pulled it off. I saw this Hidden Veggie spaghetti at the store recently and hadn't made spaghetti with them yet, so I thought I'd see if I could pass it off with the Cajun. It worked! Tasted good - he didn't notice and there was really no discernible difference in the flavor or texture if you ask me. With a full serving of vegetables in a 4 ounce portion, at least I know I can slip in some extra veggies in on this veggie adverse man in the future.

Spaghetti Lover's Soup is so easy to make - especially if you're working with leftovers. Here's how to make it either way.

Throw a little olive oil in a soup pot and add in 1/2 cup each of diced sweet or yellow onion, green bell pepper, celery and carrots. Cook that down for about 5 minutes, then toss in 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic and cook another minute. Add meat, if using, and cook until lightly browned and no longer pink, draining off any excess fat. I'm just use the leftover meat sauce so I didn't need any more meat.

Stir in spaghetti sauce, broth and both tomatoes; taste and add salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and Italian seasoning as needed. Add additional water or broth, only if needed for desired consistency. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

While that's cooking, break fresh spaghetti noodles into thirds and boil according to package directions, or warm 2 cups of chopped, leftover spaghetti noodles and divide evenly among individual bowls. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese and serve with some good garlic bread or a crusty whole grain bread.

Recipe: Spaghetti Lover's Soup

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup each diced sweet or yellow onion, green bell pepper, carrot and celery
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 pound ground beef or sausage
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 4 cups of chicken or beef broth
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel), drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of torn fresh basil leaves, to garnish, optional
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish
  • 2 ounces thin spaghetti noodles

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat; add onion, bell pepper, carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add meat and cook until lightly browned and no longer pink; drain off any excess fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce, broth and both tomatoes; taste and add salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and Italian seasoning as needed. Add additional water or broth as needed for desired consistency. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, break fresh spaghetti noodles into thirds and boil according to package directions; drain, or if you have leftover spaghetti noodles, roughly chop then warm 2 cups noodles and divide evenly among individual bowls. Garnish with fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Cook's Notes: May omit the added ground beef or sausage if using a meaty spaghetti sauce. May use chicken or beef broth, water or a combination of water and broth, though I prefer this soup with chicken broth. May substitute an equal amount of jarred or canned commercial pasta sauce. Be sure to taste and adjust seasonings as needed. To measure for 2 ounces of spaghetti noodles, look for a 3 serving ring on the box.


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Posted by on November 5, 2015
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