In order to have a more organized family life, I came up with a 4 week meal schedule. Every Monday we have soup for dinner. Suzanne is hosting a "Simply Lovely Soups Fair." Here are a few of my favorite recipes.

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Chili

  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 can black beans
  • 1 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Pour in the beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion,  green and red bell peppers, chile peppers. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

Ham and Potato soup

  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

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