Hearty lentils and tender noodles are simmered up in chunky tomato soup and topped with creamy vegan pesto ricotta to make this cozy vegan lasagna soup.
I keep saying I need to use the slow cooker more often, and I really do! Now that it’s getting cooler out I’m all about having dinner simmering on the counter all day, so I think it’s going to actually happen.
A few months back I posted this chili mac recipe, which was a revelation. The idea seems really simple, but for some reason it never occurred to me that I could let my liquid ingredients cook up in the slow cooker, and then throw pasta in at the end. With my newfound discovery, I decided it was time for some vegan lasagna soup.
If you haven’t yet seen the non-vegan versions of this soup floating around on Pinterest, here’s the deal: tomato heavy soup, all the flavors of lasagna, noodles, and in most cases, copious amounts of cheese. Obviously, I had to work around the whole cheese thing.
Fortunately, ricotta cheese is one of the easiest things ever to veganize. I have a few formulas for vegan ricotta, but since I’m trying to keep things simple, I went with my basic cashew-tofu blend, flavored with some premade pesto. Easy!
My vegan lasagna soup turned out to be every bit as satisfying as a big slab of regular old lasagna, and after hanging out in the fridge for a day, the leftovers pretty closely resembled lasagna, thanks to the noodles sucking up most of the broth. This is the perfect healthy, cozy, and meal-worthy soup to have around during the week after a holiday feast.
Make a big batch, pack it up, and enjoy it for days.
Slow Cooker Vegan Lasagna Soup
For the Lasagna Soup
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup dried brown lentils
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 8 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
- 3 cups chopped spinach leaves
For the Vegan Pesto Ricotta
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4 to 8 hours, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- 1/4 pound extra firm tofu, drained
- 3 to 4 tablespoons prepared vegan pesto, to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Make the Lasagna Soup
- Place broth, onion, garlic, basil, oregano and lentils into slow cooker and stir a few times to blend. Set the slow cooker to high and cover. Allow to cook until lentils are just a bit on the firm side, about 2 hours.
- Add diced and crushed tomatoes to the slow cooker and stir. Allow to continue cooking on high for 2 to 3 hours more.
- Add noodles and spinach to the slow cooker and give the mixture a stir. Allow to cook until noodles are tender and spinach is wilted, about 12 minutes.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the Vegan Pesto Ricotta
- Place cashews, and milk into food processor and blend until smooth. Add tofu and pulse a few times, just until the mixture takes on a ricotta-like texture. Add pesto to taste, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide soup into bowls, and top each with a dollop of vegan pesto ricotta. Serve.
You may have some extra ricotta. It will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, or you can freeze it. Use it as a pasta or salad topper, or save it for another batch of soup.