My daughter Jenny sent me this soup recipe this past winter and we have had it at least twice a month all winter long. It has become one of our very favorite soups EVER! It is a hearty soup full of yummy healthy things and is very easy to make. We love this and hope you will enjoy it too!
TORTELLINI SAUSAGE SOUP
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
3 links mild Italian sausage (the kind that is uncooked in casings)
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 onion, diced
3 (14.5-ounce) cans of chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 medium zucchini, grated (no need to peel. I shred it in my food processor with the grater attachment - it takes 5 seconds!))
2 tablespoons dried parsley
8-10 ounce package refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini (I use Kirkland Five Cheese Tortellini refrigerated pasta from Costco and LOVE it!!! They are bigger than the frozen ones. It comes in a double pack and I use half of one of those packs for this soup -so the package has enough for a total of 4 batches - freeze the rest for later use)
1.Remove the casings by slicing down one side of the sausage and peeling the casing back from the sausage. In a large pot, cook the sausage over medium heat until it starts to brown, using a wooden spoon to crumble as it cooks. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Continue cooking until the onions are translucent and the sausage is cooked through. Drain any excess grease, if needed (alternately, if your sausage is extra lean, you may need to add a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking).
2.Stir in the chicken broth, apple cider, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, oregano, and basil. Bring the soup to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in zucchini and parsley simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add the tortellini and cook until tender (usually only a couple of minutes, even when the packages call for 7-9 minutes cooking time, I only cook the tortellini for 4-5 minutes so it doesn't fall apart). Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.