A Cure for March Madness

And I don't mean the basketball variety. (I believe that's terminal, frankly.)

I mean this:

It's what happens in March in Minnesota, and it's what I woke up to this morning. It's madness, I tell you.

We're only two days from the first day of spring, and the landscape out our windows looks like a freakin' Currier and Ives painting.

Of course, it will all be gone by Thursday. And it is fascinating how a thick blanket of springtime snow makes the whole world look like a black-and-white photo.

And look -- do you see what I see? Is that a bud on the tree? (Look under the snow.)

Lord have mercy. Spring might be coming after all.

In the meantime, I'm going to use this snow day (figure of speech only, I assure you; can you imagine how much snow we have to get in Minnesota for schools to cancel?) to post the recipe for my new favorite soup. Because if it's going to be cold (still) and snowy (still), I can at least eat good food.

I was inspired by Rachel at Badgers on the Loose, who is a fellow Minnesotan, a great writer and a fabulous cook -- and not necessarily in that order. A few weeks ago, she posted a bunch of healthy and hearty soup recipes (check out her Chicken Tortilla Soup with Guacamole) that almost made me wish winter would last until May.

Lasagna Soup

1 lb. hot Italian sausage, bulk (although you could also use regular, if you're Scandinavian and think ketchup is a little too spicy for your likes) (by the way, you get bulk sausage -- which is just sausage meat without the casing -- right in the meat department; I just learned this)
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cup carrots, cut into coins
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp. garlic
4 cups chicken broth
1 14-oz. can Italian stewed tomatoes (I used Italian diced tomatoes, because I'd rather have bite-sized tomatoes in my soup, but it's your call)
1 10-oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup mafalda pasta (fun shape of pasta that looks like mini-lasagna noodles, but you could use bowtie or even penne, I'm sure)
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh mozzarella, diced (I use the medium-sized bocconicni; you can also use provolone cheese, but I think the fresh mozzarella is divine because it melts into soft little nuggets of wonderfuleness)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
4 tsp. thinly sliced fresh basil (or pesto, if you don't want to pay the outrageous prices for fresh herbs in the grocery store at this time of year)

Brown sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; saute 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic; saute another 3 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. Drop in pasta and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Place fresh mozzarella in bottom of soup bowls (that's my favorite part) and ladle hot soup on top. Garnish with Parmesan and basil.
I realize this is pitiful, but as I was typing up that recipe, Connor decided to start playing a "Clifford" computer game next to me, and hearing the birds tweet on Birdwell Island almost made me cry.

So you eat the soup and enjoy. Me? I'm off to fire up my flame-thrower and single-handedly bring spring to Minnesota.


  1. Feeling your pain on the other side of the city.

  2. Friend, I feel your pain!!! Our snow from yesterday melted, but it's not super reassuring to remember that March and April are our snowiest months. Ugh.

  3. So I guess kiddos in your neck of the woods will be wearing big coats over their cute Easter outfits, hmm?

    Spring has sprung here, down south - I looked at our pear tree this morning and discovered that, in addition to blooms, it suddenly has 2-inch leaves! Spring will come your way eventually - we'll send it north, I promise!

  4. Yuck. I'm so over winter.

    We are now enduring 7 inches of rain.

    Double yuck.

  5. Sending sympathy your way and thoughts of spring. Just think, if it wasn't snow it would be rain.

  6. I know! It was beautiful this morning, but I'm so annoyed.

  7. CRAP. We're heading to ND in three weeks where the weather is quite similar. Here in Oregon....it's LOVELY and springy with the perfect touch of sunshine and sprinkles. My kids are wearing flip flops and no coats for cyin' out loud! It's like summer compared to your pictures. *sigh*

  8. The snow is beautiful to me. I can say that since we hardly ever get any. As B said, we are getting LOTS of rain.

  9. Kelly, the soup sounds delicious! It's right up HungryMan's alley. I just learned about buying sausage in bulk this week--much easier than peeling off the casing.

    Thanks so much for the blog recommendation. I with you on the snow. I thought it was bad yesterday and then even more today. Ugh. Oh Spring where are you?

  10. That soup sounds yummy!
    Thanks for sharing.
    "Be careful with that flame thrower, Ralphie, you could put your eye out!":)

  11. Wow. Minnesota = Siberia.

    We got a lot of rain today and I was thinking how that will make the bluebonnets start popping out by this weekend.

    I would go stark-raving mad if I lived up there.

  12. BTW, In my Monday post I gave a shout-out to Julie, a new friend from the blog party. She needs some snow advice. (Traveling from Florida to Utah, I think.) Can you go see her?!

  13. Am I ever glad that Sue from Navel Gaving mentioned your blog one time.
    "freakin' Currier and Ives painting." That will have me chuckling for days!
    If I hear one more Southern blogger going on about "oh mercy, the daffodils are almost done y'all" I cannot be held responsible for my actions.

  14. Holy Cow!! I hope that you don't get snow like that again in three weeks! We will be driving right through Minneapolis on our way out to Washington State the third week of April. I hope we don't run into wintery weather!
    I answered the question you asked on my blog, but I thought I'd put it here too in case you missed it.

    He just made Officer through the LDO program and is going through Officer Training School here in Newport, RI. He graduates in three weeks....so he missed the beginning of the deployment. With a crew of close to 4,000 men and women, people are reporting during deployments all the time. They just fly them out to meet the ship at the first opportunity after checking in at the command.

  15. A flame-thrower! That's what I need.

    All this time, I've been trying to melt the snow with the the heat of my burning glare. It hasn't worked.

    I made lasagna for dinner last night. The soup sounds fabulous. I'll have to save this recipe for next fall/winter because I am done with soups, too. Bring on the salads and BBQ!

  16. So, are you still boycotting coats at your house?

  17. The snow is insane. And kind of depressing.

    The soup sounds great!

  18. okay, i'm rolling over the currier and ives painting...:))

    have you thawed out yet??


  19. No cure for March Madness? Are you sure? I am just sick about Ohio State not being in the Big Dance this year. At least Florida was left out also. Thursday and Friday are school holidays at our house. The kids don't care what the reason they are just excited there is no school.