Family, Food

Italian Sausage Soup

Italian Sausage Soup 2

Soup is one of my very favorite foods.  I’m a big fan of broth soups as opposed to cream, but I like them all. Considering this is my first soup recipe included on The St. Louis Cooks, I decided to start with this hearty family favorite.  It is not a hand me down.  This recipe is compliments of yours truly.

It combines some of my all time favorite things to eat…zucchini, tomatoes, and sausage.  Plus my kids enjoy it.  Serve it with salad, sandwiches or solo.

Italian Sausage Soup

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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  • 1 Pound of bulk Italian SausageIngredients for Sausage Soup
  • 1 Medium Onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Water
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Basil or 1 teaspoon of dried Basil
  • 2 Medium Zucchini or yellow Summer Squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices (4 cups)
  • 1 Can of Diced or Stewed Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Can of Garbanzo Beans, drained
  • 1 Can of Condensed Beef Broth


  1. Cook sausage and onion in a large pot over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes, breaking up sausage, and until no longer pink; drain.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients, breaking up tomatoes.  Heat to a boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
  3. Sprinkle each serving with fresh Parmesan cheese and oyster crackers if desired.


Family, Food, Garden

Pasta Salami Salad

Salami, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Asparagus, and fresh Basil
Salami, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Asparagus, and fresh Basil

Last week, my husband was in the mood for a cold Pasta Salad.  I was super excited because I love Pasta Salad.  Since he was grilling the flank steaks and making the vegetable, I figured making the salad was the least I could do.

I approached this recipe with some practicality and a little creativity. I used all the ingredients that I had at home.  That is the beautiful thing about cold Pasta Salad, you can use a ton of different vegetables/meats, and use many different types of dressings.

Pasta Salami Salad

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 Box of Pasta (spirals, mostaccioli, bow ties) – cooked and drained
  • 25-30 slices of Hard Salami sliced in slivers
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes diced
  • 20 Asparagus Spears cooked and sliced
  • 1 large Cucumber diced
  • 1 cup of sliced Red Onion
  • 3/4 cup of Italian Dressing of your choice (less or more)
  • 1/4 cup of Fresh Basil from the garden
  • Italian seasonings to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh shredded Parmesan Cheese or Feta Cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.  I do not rinse my pasta.  I drizzle a little olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick. Let cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta with all the other ingredients.  Add the seasonings last.  Stir until fully coated with dressing.  Add Cheese last or with each individual serving. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

This dish is a perfect summer salad that’s ideal for any large get together. I must admit that I really like the salami in this Pasta Salad.  It adds a lot of extra flavor. Also, I would have added some black olives too, but no one likes them like I do in this family.

There’s so much you can do with Pasta Salad.  I swear that I make a different one every time I make it.

Enjoy this one for now!

Family, Food, Garden

Garden Success – Basil

Fresh Basil
Fresh Basil

I’m a city girl who just started gardening. Last year, I had so much success that I couldn’t wait for Spring of 2013. This year we tried out a few herbs, basil being one of them. I left the herbs in pots thankfully so because I have some creature taking over my garden that I planted in the ground (will give you more details about that in another post).

Back to the basil, I was craving a salad to accompany my meat loaf, conveniently so, I had a box of Near East Taboule Wheat Salad Mix on hand. I decided to follow a Greek Taboule Salad recipe that also called for fresh basil. I was so excited to cut my first batch of basil. Holy cow, it smelled so good. I cut my basil leaving the bottom leaves in tact so that I could ensure more growth in three weeks.

It’s pretty awesome enjoying the sweet success of planting your own seeds, not to mention a tasty quick Taboule Salad with fresh basil!

Greek Taboule Salad
Greek Taboule Salad


  • 1 package of NEAR EAST Taboule Wheat Salad Mix
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese ( I like the Athenos Garlic and Herb variety)
  • 2 large Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of cucumbers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • Lemon wedges


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat salad mix and contents of spice packet.
  2. Stir in 1 cup of boiling water and oil. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemon juice into wheat mixture. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  4. Serve on top of lettuce leaves with fresh ground pepper if desired.

This quick salad was so good. Do you have any good recipes using basil? I’d love to hear them.