I’m so excited that we are heading into March and this is the last weekend of February! That means spring is around the corner, the robins will return, the snow will (and is) melting, and the days are getting longer. In fact tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 50’s. It will feel great and I’m sure I’ll see some Minnesotans walking around in shorts, crazy right! Even though it will be warming up, I still like a meal of soup every week. So today I’m sharing this Southwest Chicken Barley Soup. It is chocked full of great ingredients, comforting and makes a complete meal. How does a bowl sound to you?
Now that the worst of winter is over (I say as I hold my breath), I’m starting to get in the mood to go through closets and get rid of stuff we don’t use and organize. We have stuff and while we’re pretty good getting rid of things periodically, I’m feeling like purging more. One of the reasons, is about 2 year ago I had to move my dad to a senior apartment, deal with his house and get it ready to go on the market. AND do it all in a week since I live in Minnesota and he lives in NY. It was quite the experience going through 47 years of household items deciding what to keep, toss or give away. If I lived in town I probably would have had an estate sale. There was so much stuff and my dad did not need much in his new place.
I had flown out to NY and John drove – he dropped me off at the airport and made the 17 hour drive in 2 days to meet me so we could have his truck. As soon as I landed, I started going through each room. By the end of the week, we had moved my dad, took 1,000 lbs of stuff to the dump, donated most everything, filled up our truck and drove back. The house went on the market about 2 weeks later. Most of the items brought back are still in boxes – too many memories to just toss. So in light of all this, I would really like to go through OUR stuff and wean out as much as we can and not have our kids deal with it way down the road 🙂
What does all have to do with soup? Not much but just a story to share!
Southwest Chicken Barley Soup
Easy One Pot Lasagna Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 24 oz. Italian sausage
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 oz. tomato paste
- 28 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 8 oz. mafalda pasta
- 1/3 cup minced fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz. ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Crumble the sausage and brown for 5 minutes.
- Add onions and saute for 5 minutes then add the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
- Add in the tomato paste mixing it in well. Cook for 3 minutes (the paste will turn a rusty brown color)
- Next add in the tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock. Combine and bring to boil.
- Reduce the heat then simmer mixture for 30 minutes
- Add in basil and season with salt and pepper
- Cook pasta separately (see notes in blog post) while soup is simmering.
- Combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and salt and set aside
- When ready to serve, add in the pasta and stir well
- Place in each bowl about 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese
- Ladle soup over top and stir to combine
- Stir and enjoy!