This was so sublime my husband asked if we could have it again tomorrow. I’m not a fan of soggy leftover pasta, so I made just enough for the two of us to binge on. You can easily double the recipe. It can be on the table in about half an hour.


1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

15-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

4 cups vegetable broth

½ cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)

½ tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. fennel seed

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

5 lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces

3 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped

Cheesy sauce (recipe follows)


In a soup pot, warm the oil, add the onions and garlic, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, TVP, oregano, basil, fennel seed, pepper flakes, and brown sugar. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Make the cheesy sauce while it cooks (recipe follows).

Add the broken lasagna noodles and continue to cook on medium heat until the noodles are almost al dente. Then add the spinach and continue to cook until the noodles are cooked to your liking. Taste for salt.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with dollops of cheesy sauce.

Cheesy Sauce:

2/3 cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk

2 Tbsp. tapioca flour/starch

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

2 tsp. cider vinegar

½ tsp. salt

Whisk all ingredients together and cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken, then switch to a silicone spatula to stir until very thick. It happens fast, so don’t scorch it.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at