So this is going in my regular rotation for sure. And the best part (for me, anyway) is that this recipe is so incredibly simple...throw it in the crockpot and let it cook all day. Your house smells like homemade sauce and you have dinner ready for your after a long day. I definitely recommend this one folks. Enjoy!
my version based on http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2012/11/slow-cooker-crockpot-lasagna-soup.html
1 lb mild Italian sausage (I used turkey sausage)
3 cups of vegetable broth
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 (6oz) can of tomato paste
1 cup V8 (or any vegetable juice)
2 cups uncooked shell pasta
1 cup water
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Optional toppings- shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan, and/or part-skim ricotta
Start off my combining the diced tomatoes and tomato paste in the crockpot (I used a whisk). And my trick to getting the tomato paste out of the can? Open up both sides with the can opener and push it through, as pictured below. Easy and no mess, nothing wasted.
In the meantime, cook the Italian sausage over medium high heat until cooked through. Allow it to drain on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any extra grease...you don't want a greasy soup. And what is it that I'm doing in the picture below? Another trick - using a potato smasher to break up the meat into small bits as it cooks.
Now add the V8, vegetable stock, onions, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and sausage. NO WATER and NO PASTA yet...that doesn't come until its almost ready to eat.
Eat as is or top off with as much mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta as you would like. So yummy!!!