Crockpot Lasagna Soup

I’ll admit to really loving the grocery store.  I like looking at packaging, products, marketing and new items.  I laugh out loud at the companies who label apples at gluten-free, and then wonder who exactly falls for that?  I get excited when new products are released or my favorite mini-sweet peppers are on sale.  Crazy, maybe.  But I love to wander the aisles and look at what is being sold.

I do most of my grocery shopping at Aldi’s and Kroger’s.  Plus I visit the locally owned Amish market for my lunchmeat and cinnamon rolls that are better than I ever make.  Those are the only places I shop.  Today I was shopping for ingredients to make Crockpot Lasagna Soup.

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So to my surprise, I learned that I was going to need to shop at a Whole Foods.  Let’s be clear, Whole Foods goes against everything I stand for as a hog and grain farmer.  I believe in using clear concise measure in selling foods.  Whole Foods markets gluten-free apples.  I believe that consumers should choose how they spend their food dollars.  Whole Foods tells customers that if you don’t buy their food, then you are not feeding your family correctly.

For this trip, I took my friendly dietician Kim and my blogger friend Crystal with me.  We were going to shop three different stores, buying the same recipe ingredients at each store, and compare prices.

First stop was Kroger’s.  Since this is one of the stores I shop often, i breezed through the aisles and found my ingredients. I purchase store-brand on nearly everything I buy, except tomatoes.  I always buy Red Gold tomatoes.  As an Indiana company with Indiana growers, I love the tomatoes and the company!

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Cost? $20.61 total.

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Then she told me we were going to Whole Foods.  I was less than happy.  I didn’t want to spend one dime of my hard-earned, hog-raising, corn-growing money at that store.  I thought the store smelled bad and I was upset that I couldn’t find every ingredient I needed, as they didn’t sell pork sausage.

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And the real shocker?  The cost.  $33.17 for the ingredients that they did sell.  Don’t forget they didn’t have sausage.  And to top it off, the ground pork I did buy for this recipe was rotten when I unwrapped it.  I pulled it out one day before the best-by date and it was stinky and rotten. So that was a waste of $6 on a pound of meat.

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Then it was off to Aldi’s.  I really love shopping at Aldi’s.  It is my go-to for pantry and kid snack staples.  I usually don’t buy meat at any grocery store, so I was happy that they had the meat I needed.

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I was most excited about the price! $17.13 for the entire meal!  Almost $16 cheaper than Whole Foods.

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As a hog and grain farmer, I support people spending their grocery income however they choose.  If you want to shop at the Whole Foods stores, then please do so.  If Aldi’s is your favorite store, that is great.  What I don’t like is a grocery store telling me that I’m not feeding my family the “right” way if I don’t shop their store.

Now for the recipe!  I made a Crockpot Lasagna Soup.  This is a simple, filling recipe and perfect for fall nights!

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Crockpot Lasagna Soup



Crockpot Lasagna Soup
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Super easy, crockpot soup that is tasty and will please the entire family!
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable juice or V8
  • 2 cups uncooked shell pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Brown pork and sausage on the stove.
  2. Mix together the can of tomatoes and tomato paste in crockpot.
  3. Add broth, beef, garlic, parsley, basil, onion, vegetable drink, salt and pepper
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  5. Just before serving, boil pasta in a saucepan. Add prepared pasta to crockpot and stir.
  6. Serve with salad, garlic bread and cheese for topping!


Opening the Farm to a Visitor

Our farm is a very busy place.  There are always baby pigs being born, crops to harvest and animals to take care of.  We get many requests to visit the farm.  Because baby pigs are cute and people want to see them.


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Baby pigs

But we don’t let the public on our farm.  It takes a lot of time to have visitors go through the same bio-security measures we must take on the farm.  And then it takes time to show guests around and explain the farm to them.  So the answer is almost always no.  Until recently.

In an effort to bring some “city moms” to the farm, I recently had my friend Crystal from Mom For Less come out to the farm for a visit.  She brought her cute little guy with her to see our hog farm.

I worried she would panic because our farm smells like a farm.  It’s hog manure.  Not a rose patch.

I worried that she would be put out by our requirements that she and her little guy taking a complete head-to-toe shower before they could come in the barn.

I worried that my answers to her questions might not explain our farm well enough.

I think I worried for nothing!

I had a blast hosting Crystal on the farm!  She asked great questions and truly appreciated the hard work that goes into our 4th generation family farm.

You can read her account of the farm visit here.  I’m glad she came for a visit!  And come back in a few days as I’ll share a recipe that ties to her visit to our farm!

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