Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

This recipe has so many things going for it: warm and hearty, one pan preparation, full of veggies, and super delicious!  Husband slurped it down quickly in silence, which is his ultimate stamp of approval.  The leftovers were equally delicious the next day, too.  I found the recipe in EveryDay Feasts: The Junior League of Tampa Culinary Collection.   

Substitutions: None, but I did want to spell out some of my grocery choices.  I used Buitoni Whole Wheat Three Cheese Tortellini and reduced sodium beef broth.  Buying fresh Mild ground Italian sausage meant I didn’t have to deal with removing sausage casings.  Chopping the zucchini slices in half before adding them to the pot was a good call, too. 

Serve with warm, crusty bread and a glass of red wine… you have some left over from this recipe, right?  As the saying goes, “I always cook with wine.  Sometimes I even add it to the food.” 

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
1 1/2 cups fresh chopped spinach
8 oz. fresh meat- or cheese-filled tortellini pasta
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping 

Preparation Instructions 
In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown the sausage. Remove sausage and place in a bowl to the side; leave just enough of the drippings to coat the bottom of the pot. Saute onions and garlic in drippings until soft. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir in zucchini, parsley, spinach, and tortellini. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Ladle into large bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Makes 6 large bowls.   

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