A Simple Recipe for Creating Community
A Simple Recipe for Creating Community
Fall is upon us and there is no better time for soups, stews and chilis. One of my favorite soup recipes is included below and I hope you will try it. Lasagna Soup is one of the easiest recipes I have, and it brings back some very fond memories for me.
Lasagna Soup is one of the easiest recipes I have, and it brings back some very fond memories for me.
Randy & I had just moved into a new neighborhood with our 4 children and we wanted to get to know the neighbors. An article I read just before we moved in Cooking Light magazine had sparked my interest. It was about a woman who enjoyed her community so much that she started doing “Soup Nights” once a week and invited all of her neighbors to come by and grab a bowl of soup. They could stop by for a few minutes if that was all the time they had, or come and linger for the evening and visit. She didn’t ask anyone to bring anything and there was no agenda except to relax and spend time visiting over a bowl of soup.
I couldn’t shake the idea, so Randy and I decided to try it. First, I went on the hunt for as many quick and easy soup recipes as I could find. Then I sent out invites to the neighbors closest to us and to anyone in the neighborhood whom we had already met. On the prescribed day, I made a large pot of soup. Then we waited. About 15 people showed up that first night. We let everyone know we were going to do Soup Night twice a month on the first and third Sundays of the month and they could spread the word to anyone who lived in our “hood.”
As you might imagine, making soup, for an undetermined number of people, is risky. First of all, I didn’t require RSVPs and all I promised was a bowl of soup. We had between 2 to 40 people join us on any given night. The number varied each time. Lasagna Soup was everyone’s favorite. I made only the soup, but people started bringing, bread, drinks, salads, and desserts. The thing I was most worried about was running out of soup. I am pleased to tell you I planned soup for about 30-35 people. The good news is, I never ran out of soup! Even on the nights we had 40! Maybe God’s favor shines on you when you love on your neighbors.
We got to know our neighbors for sure, but as we continued to come together, we began to do many other things as a community.
We did Soup Nights for about 2 years and the results were incredible. We got to know our neighbors for sure, but as we continued to come together, we began to do many other things as a community. A Bible study started, a ladies prayer group began, men started golfing together, we had a Halloween festival and a block party out in the middle of our street, we started caring for each other when someone was sick or needed something repaired and we even worked together to help support a needy family who lived nearby in our community. Oh, and through the conversations and activities during soup nights and other gatherings, people became Christ-Followers.
So, as the fall comes close, consider making a pot of Lasagna Soup for your family. Or, better yet, invite another family over to enjoy it with you and maybe if you dare – invite your whole street and see what God does!
Hearty Lasagna Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 25 min | Servings: 8 servings
2 lbs. ground Italian sausage or ground beef
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (14 ounce) can Seasoned Beef Broth with Onion
2 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
3 cups uncooked corkscrew-shaped pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Ricotta Cheese & Parmesan Cheese mixed
Cook beef with garlic in skillet until browned. Pour off fat.
Add broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Heat to a boil.
Stir in pasta. Cook over medium heat 10 min. Stir in cheese.
Serve with additional cheese if desired.
Note: Add noodles right before serving. To reheat add additional beef broth. This recipe can be frozen before the noodles are added. I like to add addition diced onions when I brown the ground beef or sausage.