Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Quick, easy and light… this recipe for Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup is perfect for a weeknight supper or a lazy weekend… it’s hearty enough on it’s own with some fresh crusty bread… or with a sandwich for a bigger appetite.
You can use either sweet (mild) or hot Italian sausage.   Bulk sausage is the easiest to cook.. but if you can’t find bulk sausage then buy the links and cut open an end and squeeze out the sausage.
Spinach or kale works in this recipe.. I happened to use spinach but if you prefer kale.. but all means substitute it for the spinach.
Quantities are approximate.. you can make as little or as much as you like…. If you want this to be the only part of your meal… add a bigger amount of tortellini.  Keep in mind the tortellini will absorb some of the broth… so be sure to have extra on hand to add to the pot if needed.
I used Hunts canned diced tomatoes, the Basil Oregano and Garlic variety.  I also like using the roasted garlic variety.  Any variety you prefer can be substituted, including the plain ones.  If using the plain ones, I would recommend you add additional seasoning, about 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning or to taste.  Adjust the seasoning toward the last half of cooking.
The white wine is optional.  I used an inexpensive sauvignon blanc.   My rule of thumb with cooking wine is if it’s drinkable… I use it.. if it isn’t drinkable… I don’t even buy it for cooking.
Be sure to add the spinach at the last minute… so it retains its bright green color.. it only takes a few minutes to cook.
I hope you try this delicious soup!

Recipe:  Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup
All you need:
1 pound bulk Italian Sausage
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced carrots
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 container (48 oz) Chicken broth or stock
1 can diced tomatoes (any Italian or plain variety)
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
1 pkg Buitoni tortellini (any variety)
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
All you have to do:
In a large soup pot brown the bulk sausage over medium high heat… crumbling it as it cooks.   Remove all but about a tablespoon of the rendered sausage fat.  Add the onions, garlic and carrots.  Cook until the onions are soft, stirring often.  Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the mixture and stir well.
Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes and white wine.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are almost done cooking.  Add the tortellini and cook for the amount of time listed on the package.
When the tortellini have a couple of minutes left to cook, add the spinach.  Cook until tender about 2-3 minutes.
Serve in bowls with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese.

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