It’s become a tradition of mine to take the Monday after Thanksgiving off of work for some much-needed “prepping for Christmas” time. With the Christmas music playing too loudly, I open up my 13 bins of Christmas decor and attempt to get the house decorated just as it was the year prior. I then start on some Christmas cards, cook some comfort food for dinner, and finally we go as a family, with hot chocolate in hand, to pick out our Christmas tree. Afterwards we come home, eat said delicious comfort food for dinner and spend the next however many hours decorating the tree, this time with wine in hand and a fire in the fireplace.
Such a perfect day, right? It really is. This year was no different in that I took the day off work, listened to lots of Christmas music, cooked some comfort food, and we went as a family to pick out our Christmas tree and then got it decorated. I also indulged in both hot chocolate and wine. There may have been a few minor glitches along the way … wrong color “white” lights, missing tree topper, too much sugar for the little one … but these are the glitches that make up life, am I right? The Christmas cards are still sitting in the box they came in and the Christmas decorating is no where near complete, although my dining room floor looks quite festive since that’s where your decorations will end up if you ask your 3 year old for help. Still, it was a perfect day.
The comfort food I cook usually involves a good soup and this one is worth sharing. I’ve made it with both homemade meatballs and premade Aidells meatballs before, but the version below with chicken sausage is my favorite to date.
LEMON ORZO SOUP WITH SAUSAGE
(makes 3 quarts)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 64 ounces chicken broth
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best!)
- 3/4 cup orzo pasta
- 8 large Italian sausage links, cut small (Aidells chicken sausage is my go-to!)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- In a large pot, saute onion, carrots & garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in chicken broth & lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring occassionally.
- Add orzo and reduce heat to medium. Simmer about 9 minutes until pasta is almost tender, stirring occassionally.
- Stir in sausage and simmer about 7 minutes, stirring occassionally, until sausage is cooked.
- Stir in parmesan cheese & parsley and add salt/pepper to taste.
It’s even better with a slice of cheese toast. Hopefully I’ll get the Christmas decorations off the floor in the near future so I can share a Holiday Home Tour from our new home with you! Wish me luck and in the meantime, Merry Christmas preppin’ time to you & yours!!!