This morning I placed the ingredients for Italian Sausage Soup in my crock pot, and through out the day it filled my home with the smells of my favorite Italian restaurant.
All five of my kids love this soup and it is a nice change from your more traditional soups. It is great on a cold snowy day (like today), and also the recipe can be easily doubled for a crowd.
Makes 8 servings
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped finely
1/2 tsp bottled minced garlic
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
3 14-oz. cans chicken broth
1 cup dried orzo pasta
finely shredded Parmesan cheese for serving
In a skillet, cook sausage, onion, and garlic over medium heat until sausage is brown. Drain off fat.
In crock pot, combine carrots and celery. Add sausage mixture. In bowl, combine tomatoes, sauce, and spices. Pour mixture and chicken broth over sausage mixture.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook for 20 minutes more. Discard bay leaf. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Add some garlic cheese bread and enjoy!
Update on my daughter's speech competition since so many of you asked (thank you!):
Before I dropped Lauren off at the high school early Saturday morning, she told me she was nervous. As I drove down the street the couple blocks to the school, I told her that she had already done a really great thing as far as we were concerned. But, I grabbed her hand and we prayed for her day.
Lauren was scheduled to perform the first speech (the one she agreed to do the night before) at 9 am. It was in the story-telling category. She called us shortly after she had received her score and shared with us that she had received the highest possible score, a "1". We all shouted with joy for her and at that point it didn't matter to her how the rest of the day went.
But, later that afternoon shortly after she gave her speech in the acting category, she called again to tell us she had received another score of "1". We were all so happy for her. She had worked very hard on this speech using an accent throughout the entire speech and having to break out in song at what point, and tears in the next.
She will now compete in two weeks at state.