Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup

So this is my favorite new soup and I think you will love it too.  I had kind of vowed to stop sharing soup recipes, but what can I say, this one is delicious and since I have made it multiple times in the last weeks, that makes it worth sharing.  I recently made a double batch of this soup for a holiday party and I don’t think it is an overstatement to say it was gobbled up and gone.  This Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup is adapted from one published in the October 1993 issue of Bon Appetit.  And although it is not a new recipe, it is one worth keeping close at hand.

There is something truly lovely about the richness of this soup.  It uses many tablespoons-worth of dried herbs and then simmers for 40 minutes, creating a rich, stewy flavor that is perfect for winter eating.  It also is very easy to pull together and makes the house smell incredible.  This soup works well for a group and can definitely be put in the category of “main dish”, as the pasta and sausage create a heartiness that is nicely filling.  I have made this soup with both pork and chicken sausage and did not notice any appreciable difference, so use whichever you prefer.  I have made it with both chicken & beef broth, and felt both worked well.  I also added some of the slow-roasted tomatoes that I made this summer and froze for later use.  This added to the developed flavor, but is certainly not necessary.  This is a very flexible recipe that adapts well with whatever you have on-hand.  Substituting swiss chard or kale for the zucchini might be nice as well.  Have fun experimenting with this delicious winter dish!

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Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup

  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage (pork, turkey, or chicken), casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 4 cups beef stock or canned broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (I use a 14.5-ounce can of muir glen chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 8 to 10 ounces purchased fresh cheese tortellini
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté Italian sausage in heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic to Dutch oven and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Return sausage to Dutch oven. Add stock, 1 cup water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, wine, basil and oregano. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Add tortellini to soup and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. If soup has thickened, add the additional cup of water at this point.  Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Even my little taste-tester approved… Enjoy!

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8 thoughts on “Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup

  1. Do you have any suggestions for converting this to a crock pot recipe? I’m thinking of making this my main dish for a serve-yourself Christmas Day lunch with the family.

    • Hi Mary ~ I think it could work fine in a crock pot, although I haven’t tried that yet. I would cook the sausage ahead, as well as the onion and garlic and then when it comes time to adding the broth, you could complete the rest of the steps in the crock pot. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

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