The kids and I took off to Southern California. We were itchin’ for some warmth, sand and sea. Four days into our trip my husband lets me know that there was a good steady snow fall back at home and he was in the house with a fire. I was sitting at Ventura Pier when I was told this news.
So I sat there.
Looked around a bit.
Felt the sun kissing my shoulders.
Watched my two sons completely enveloped by the sea, sand and surf.
Hearing the gulls above me vying for my Cheetos and I thought to myself…
I want to be home.
In the mountains.
As snow falls.
Tucked, cozily in my home.
A fire raging inside our stone hearth.
A good book on my lap.
The boys playing a board game.
A steaming cup of tea at arms reach.
Soup on the stove top and bread baking.
I realized then that I am no longer a Californian. I no longer prefer the sea over the mountains. I no longer see California as I once had.
I love my family and my friends in California,
but I also love my family and friends in Colorado.
After five years, Colorado is now what I consider to be my home.
Our first full day back I decided to play in the kitchen as snow fell.
There was a fire in our hearth.
I was baking home-made pizza dough.
Soup on the stove top
Kids playing checkers.
A good book awaiting me.
A steaming cup of oolong.
This soup recipe is versatile to the extreme! Make it vegetarian with all of your favorite vegetables. I made mine this way only because it was what I had in the kitchen and I was not wanting to get in my car. In fact I took out of the freezer a pound of pork sausage and some leftover home-made pizza sauce as well as some home-made chicken stock. It was a great way to make room in the freezer for my next big shopping.
I wish I had pepperoni and mushrooms… but that’s okay. This soup came out so full of flavor, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Take some short cuts by using store-bought pizza dough, pizza sauce and chicken broth or stock.
A perfect warm, tasty, healthy, quick meal. Happy cooking friends.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lb of pork sausage
1 medium to large onion (white, yellow or red), small chop
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried chili’s (or more if you like spicier)
1 cup pre-made pizza sauce
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1 can diced tomatoes
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 4 quart braiser pan. Add sausage. While browning, break up to smaller bits. Once cooked through, remove from pan onto a paper towel-lined plate. Let rest.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add chopped onion and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add oregano, basil, thyme, salt and chili’s. Saute for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Add sausage. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Allow soup to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
When serving, top with some shredded mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese. Add some more dried chili’s.
Parmesan Pizza Dippers
I used very specific ingredients. Allow yourself to play if you don’t have the ingredients I had. Use regular olive oil and salt and pepper, then add shredded parmesan cheese.
Pizza dough (store-bought or home-made)
Trader Joe’s Organic Garlic Olive Oil
Savory Spice Shop’s Parmesan Pesto Sprinkle
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Using a rolling-pin (or your hands if you really want to have fun), roll dough into a rustic circle (aka imperfect circle).
- Gently lay dough on a pizza stone or jelly roll pan lined with parchment. Brush a light layer of olive oil, sprinkle with spices.
- Prick dough all over with a fork.
- Bake for about 10 minutes.