1cancannellini beansdrained and rinsed (15 ounces)
4clovesgarlicminced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
2dried bay leaves
1teaspoonground black pepper
1cancrushed tomatoeswith their juices (26 ounces)
4-6cupsreduced-sodium vegetable stock or chicken stock
8ounceswhole wheat lasagna noodles
4cupsfresh baby spinach leaves
1/2cupdry white wineor substitute additional stock, or simply omit it
2teaspoonschopped fresh thyme
8ouncespart-skim ricotta cheese
1/3cupfreshly grated mozzarella cheese
1/4cupchopped fresh parsley
To a 6-quart or larger slow cooker, add the butternut squash, mushrooms, onion, beans, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper, crushed tomatoes, and 4 cups broth.
Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high, until the squash is tender.
In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients: ricotta, mozzarella, parsley, and kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate topping until ready to serve.
Once the soup is ready, remove the ricotta mixture from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles, then rinse and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Remove the bay leaves from the slow cooker. Add the spinach, white wine, thyme, and cooked noodles to the slow cooker. If the mixture seems too thick, add additional vegetable stock to reach your desired consistency. Stir just until the spinach wilts. Serve warm, topped with a dollop of the ricotta mixture.
TO STORE: Leftover crockpot lasagna soup may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The ricotta topping can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
TO FREEZE: Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, before warming. I have not tried freezing the ricotta topping but it should freeze and thaw just fine.
TO REHEAT: Warm leftover lasagna soup on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through. Let the ricotta mixture come to room temperature before topping the reheated soup.