2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
3 – 5 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 lasagna noodles, broken into bite size pieces (6.5 oz)
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (5 oz)
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (2 oz)
8 oz ricotta cheese
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, crumble beef into pot, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Drain majority of fat from beef and set aside (you can drain it all if you want it to be healthier I just like the little bit of flavor a small amount of the fat gives). Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in pot, add chopped yellow onion and saute until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add in garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Add in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, rosemary, fennel seeds, thyme, sugar, parsley, the cooked ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare lasagna noodles according to directions listed on package, reserving 1 cup pasta water before draining pasta.
Add cooked pasta to soup along with 1/2 cup – 1 cup pasta water as desired. In a mixing bowl, using a fork, stir together mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta.
Ladle soup into bowls, dollop with a large scoop of the cheese mixture and sprinkle with chopped parsley (you can help the cheese melt better by cooking in the microwave after dolloping over soup for a bit or you could put the soup in oven safe bowl, top with cheese mixture and set under broiler to melt well. Or just stir into very hot soup and it should melt well).