Monday, January 28, 2013

Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup

Soup, honestly, has to be the most comforting food there is. It is no secret that it is my favorite meal! I think what makes soup so appealing is that you can be creative and take chances. You can also taste along the way and make adjustments to suit your taste. If you like a thin soup - add more broth; thick soup - add potatoes or flour. If you want to try a new vegetable out on your family, soup is a great place to introduce it. The first time I had rutabaga and kale it was by adding it to a soup. This soup has my name all over it. I just put all of my favorites in the pot: a lightly creamy base, spicy Italian sausage, tomato, spinach, garlic, Parmesan cheese and pasta. What's not to like?

Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup

1 lb hot Italian sausage
1 Tbls olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
32 oz chicken broth
14 oz diced tomato
1 chicken bullion cube
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, shredded (plus additional for garnish)
1 c half & half
2 c baby spinach
2 1/2 c frozen or fresh cheese tortellini

In a stock pot, brown Italian sausage. Drain the grease and set sausage aside. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper to stock pot and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, tomato, bullion cube and thyme and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Add sausage back to the soup along with Parmesan cheese, half & half and spinach. Bring soup back up to a simmer before adding tortellini. Simmer soup for an additional 5-10 minutes or until tortellini is cooked through. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese on top.


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