Sausage and Tortellini Soup

During the winter months there’s not much better to me for dinner than a warm bowl of soup with a slice of freshly baked bread.   Soups are fairly easy to make, they’re relatively inexpensive, and almost always delicious.

We visited my sister in law and her family right after New Year’s, and she made an amazing sausage and tortellini soup.  I knew we needed to add this to our menu, so I tried to copy it the other night.  This soup is hearty, and yet there are lots of veggies in it that also make it pretty healthy.  For an extra kick, you can use hot sausage instead of the mild version that I chose, or add a few crushed red pepper flakes.  We like a heartier soup, but you could certainly add more liquid to this to stretch it out a bit more.

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

1 pound mild Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 cups beef broth
1 {15 oz} can diced tomatoes, drained
1  {6 oz} can tomato paste
1 1/2 cans of water {use empty tomato paste can}
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup diced carrots
1 green pepper, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
16 oz. bag of frozen cheese filled tortellini
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot brown sausage, crumbling it with the backside of a spoon until cooked through {no longer pink}.  Remove sausage from pot and drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Cook onion and garlic in same pot, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add broth, tomato paste, water, seasoning, and carrots.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, add sausage back to the pot, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

Add peppers, zucchini, and tortellini, and cook for 10 more minutes, or until tortellini are tender.  Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

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