Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Don’t you love it when you open your fridge, scan the shelves for a din­ner idea, and two items catch your eye. Two items that serendip­i­tously are nes­tled side by side on the sec­ond shelf down. Then, upon spot­ting said ingre­di­ents, your mind  snaps into remem­brance of a deli­cious recipe that you haven’t made in quite a while. It seems like des­tiny. Des­tiny with a touch of des­per­a­tion thrown in for good measure.

I wish I could say that I was one of those peo­ple. The ones who orga­nize their weekly menu by Fri­day, shop on Sat­ur­day, and rest com­fort­ably on Sun­day with the real­iza­tion that you have a whole week of not rack­ing your brain for din­ner ideas. The ones who also man­age to remem­ber to defrost the meat in time, and then actu­ally remem­ber to use the defrosted meat!

 

I guess that’s where planning/shopping would come in handy, because if there’s one ques­tion that strikes fear into my heart, it’s ‘Where’d the money go?’ ‘What’s for din­ner?’. Espe­cially when you mul­ti­ply the ques­tion 6X leav­ing out myself, (the mil­lion times I ask myself don’t count), Chef, (he learned bet­ter long ago), and the youngest, (whose vocab­u­lary tech­ni­cally doesn’t extend to that kind of sen­tence struc­ture. Yet.)

I am a walk­ing oxymoron.

A per­son who loves to cook. Who, in fact, cooks ALL THE TIME!! But some­how never knows what to have for din­ner. So can you see why I was so happy when des­tiny, some Ital­ian Sausage, and a pack­age of cheese tortellini showed me the way?

I thought so.

Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

serves 6–8

Ital­ian Sausage and Cheese Tortellini Soup

1 pound Italian-style sausage

2 cups chopped carrots

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 heap­ing table­spoon chopped garlic

1/2 cup red wine (optional)

4 cans (15oz.) low sodium chicken broth, depend­ing on how thick/soupy you like

1 can (15oz.) kid­ney beans, drained and rinsed

30 oz. crushed or diced toma­toes (I use bot­tled, but you could use what­ever canned brand is clos­est to the cor­rect amount)

1 12 oz. bag fresh cheese tortellini

1 1/2 tea­spoons Ital­ian sea­son­ing (or 1/2 tea­spoon dried oregano & 1/2 tea­spoon dried basil)

3/4 tea­spoon sugar

Salt & pep­per to taste

shred­ded or shaved Parme­san cheese for garnish

In a large, heavy, pre-heated pan, put the Ital­ian sausage. Use a spoon to break the sausage into about 1/2 inch chunks. Try not to break them down fur­ther, as the larger bits are nice in this soup. Also, try to only let the bot­tom of the pan brown, not burn. It will impart a bit­ter taste to your soup.

Cook the sausage until no longer pink. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

In the large pot with the fond, (aka the brown bits left behind when you cooked the meat), add the onions and let cook on medium heat about 3–5 min­utes, still tak­ing care not to brown what’s in the bot­tom of the pan too much.  When onions are slightly soft, add the gar­lic and let cook, stir­ring, for 2–3 minutes.

Next add the 1/2 cup red wine if using. If not using, add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Let liq­uid cook down by half, stir­ring and loos­en­ing up the fond from the bot­tom of the pan.

Add the chicken broth, car­rots, and the toma­toes. Let cook on medium at a slow boil for about 10 min­utes, or until car­rots are just start­ing to soften.

Add the sea­son­ings, salt and pep­per, and sugar, and add back the sausage.

At this point you can either let it cool down and store it in the fridge until just before you want to serve, or, turn up the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

Add the tortellini and cook accord­ing to the time on the pack­age direc­tions, maybe minus a minute to keep it al-dente. Add kid­ney beans and let warm through.

Gar­nish with shaved Parme­san cheese and serve with crusty bread.

**Feel­ing naughty? Add a cup of heavy cream along with the kid­ney beans. So good!**

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6 Comments

  1. Wow!! your soup looks deli­cious. Can I have more than one round if you don’t mind :)

  2. This soup sounds per­fect for a cozy fall night. I love spice so I would use spicy Ital­ian sausage or a combo of sweet and spicy. May even use chicken sausage if I feel like being health­ier. I am going to keep this in mind for when it turns chilly.

    Thanks!

    The Din­ner Belle for Kimberlybelle.com

  3. Mmm. Serendip­i­tously nes­tled. I don’t think you can ever go wrong when things are serendip­i­tously nes­tled. That soup looks heavenly!

    Cook­ing and com­ing up with what to make for din­ner? Uses two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT brain func­tions. I’m con­vinced they aren’t even meant to co-exist.

  4. Din­ner Belle–chicken sausage is a great idea! I’m going to remem­ber that one!

    Peggy–That explains a lot! I need some­one to take over just one of those tasks!

  5. Hello there! I have made this soup twice now and it rocks. Its flavour packed! I used dried tortellini and added some zuchinni too it was really, really too. I love that I have these ingre­di­ents on hand always and my tod­dler loves it. Fan­tas­tic, will be using this again and again. Next on my list is your caramel corn for a girls night in! Thanks again, Nisha

  6. Where do those “peo­ple” you speak of live? I need to move there and be like them!
    I just made this soup and was deli­cious!! Thanks for sharing :)

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