Monday, October 3

Good Eating Monday: Tortellini Tomato & Italian Sausage Soup!

It's October!
And this coming weekend is Columbus Day Weekend, so it will be off to the Pirates of the High Seas Festival in Panama City Beach for us! Arrgh! We'll be dressing up in our best pirate matey's garb for that! Last year we even were photographed & featured in the local paper!

Today's Good Eating Recipe is Tortellini Tomato & Italian Sausage Soup!
The photo is the actual soup I made. This stove-top recipe is a delicious, lightly spicy soup full of cheese-stuffed Tortellini, diced tomatoes, sausage & fresh spinach!
I used sliced Turkey sausages, since we had some leftover from the previous days cook-out, but the recipe calls for Ground Turkey Sausage. I think you could use a pork sausage, but Turkey is lower fat.
The only change I'd personally make is not using a carton of broth from the store, but packets of instant, low-salt chicken bouillon instead. For some reason every brand of carton or canned broth gives us terrible gas. I use the stuff so rarely, I forget, but I've made a mental note to self to remember that here, because my own blog is my recipe box!
Except for that little problem, I thought this a wonderful soup I'd made again and I love Tortellini! 
I'll give the recipe as is, but you use a sausage of your choice.

Photo of My Soup
Tortellini Tomato & Italian Sausage Soup
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
 1 lb ground Turkey sausage (fresh or Jimmy Dean precooked)
1/2 cup chopped onion

1 Tablespoon diced Garlic (about 2 large cloves)
1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes 
1 32oz carton of chicken or vegetarian broth (Or 4 cups of water combined with 3 to 4 packets of Instant Chicken Bouillon)
1 teaspoon Rubbed Sage

1/4 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 package of Tortellini (I used the tri-color kind)
1 cup packed fresh Spinach (There's a lot of Spinach in those bags, so I was generous and added half the bag)

1) In a large pot of adequate size for 6 to 8 cups of soup over medium high heat: saute sausage & onion in oil, if you're using fresh sausage, & cook until meat is no longer pink & onions are tender.   If your using pre-cooked ground turkey, just saute the onions in the olive oil. Then add the precooked Turkey Sausage after.

2)  Add remaining ingredients to sausage & onions: tomatoes, broth, garlic, salt, pepper and stir together. Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. 

3)  Add Tortellini & Spinach, stir in and let simmer another 10 minutes or until the Tortellini is tender. (The Tortellini may thicken the soup as it absorbs water, so you may need to add a little additional water.)

4) Serve topped with Parmesan or Shredded Mozzarella with fresh bread, garlic bread, cornbread or biscuits as a side to sop up the broth!

Slow-Cooker Directions:
I like to make this in the slow-cooker, but it takes an additional 2 cups of fluid, whether broth or water, to the fluid measure listed in the recipe for stove top, because the pasta will have time to absorb more water in a slow-cooker.
Just combine
 broth, crushed tomatoes, seasonings, garlic, onion & ground sausage in the slow-cooker and cook on low for 2 hours, then during the last 30 minutes, switch temp to high and add tortellini & spinach.
The Soup is done when the Tortellini pasta is tender.
Note on Storing & Reheating:
 You can store leftover soup, but keep in mind the pasta will absorb  the fluid, so you'll want to finish it up within the next day or two and, to reheat it, you'll want to add a little water to make it "soup" again! 
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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