We spent the day cleaning the RV and doing laundry in preparation for our departure next week. I also went to the grocer and purchased a few steaks, roasts, lamb chops and Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (from our butcher at New Seasons Market), etc., for the RV freezer. Everything is already frozen and vacuum-sealed. Ready for the road!

It is absolutely freezing in Portland. And by freezing, I mean BELOW ZERO.

Get me outta here!

Here is a super easy recipe to warm your family on a cold evening:

I have seen many recipes for lasagna soup and they all seem to use a whole bunch of ricotta and mozzarella cheese. I wanted to lighten it up a bit. My butcher makes a spicy bulk Italian sausage using chicken thighs – it is perfect for this recipe. The only cheese I add is a little parmesan over the top as a garnish. This hearty soup tastes just like lasagna – and is RV-easy!

Olive Oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Italian Sausage (bulk or removed from casing) (I use spicy)
One 14 oz can diced tomatoes
One 6 oz can tomato paste
1 quart chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
A few handfuls of dried wavy pasta, such as fussili or butterfly (3-4 oz)
2 handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves
1 stem fresh basil, chopped
Grated parmesan to serve

Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes, then add the sausage, stirring to break-up the meat. Cook until the sausage is just cooked through, then add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well, then add the chicken stock and oregano. Bring to a boil, toss-in the dried pasta and reduce to a simmer. Allow the soup of simmer until the pasta is just al dente, then add the spinach and fresh basil. Stir and serve immediately, garnishing with the parmesan cheese, if desired.

Serves 6.

Until my next update, I remain, your “Oklahoma State Cowboys were robbed by the BCS” correspondent. Go OSU – beat the Stanfurds!

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