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Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 1/2 lbs. Ground beef
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz.) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
5 cups beef broth
Mafalda or rotini pasta, or other small pasta (cooked according to package directions)
2 cups mozzarella cheese

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine sausage, ground beef and red pepper flakes, if using. Crumble the meat and cook until is browned. Drain off excess fat. Add onion and cook 5-7 minutes, until onion has softened. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, to a large slow cooker, add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms (if using), Italian seasoning, basil, fennel, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir well. Add beef broth and ground beef/sausage mixture to slow cooker. Stir. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.
Ladle soup into bowls, and add some of the cooked pasta. Top with some of the mozzarella cheese and serve.

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