Rita's recipe of the week

my oldest & “bestest” friend, Carol Vanover, Cookin’ Carol, shared this easy soup recipe with me and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. Hot soup on a wintery cold day -- I’ll set an extra place for both of you!

ITALIAN RUSTIC TORTELLINI SOUP

Carol received this from her friend, Irene Johnson and adapted it slightly.

Prep: 20 min., cook: 20 min.

Ingredients:

3/4 lb. Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed [I used 1 lb. Bob Evans Italian sausage]

1 med. onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (14 1/2 oz.) reduced sodium chicken broth [I used 1 box 32 oz.]

1 3/4 cups water

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained [I used diced Italian tomatoes]

1 package (9 oz.) refrigerated cheese tortellini

1 package (6 oz.) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

2 1/4 tsp. minced fresh basil or 3/4 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. pepper

Dash crushed red pepper flakes

Shredded parmesan cheese, optional

Preparation:

Crumble sausage in Dutch oven, add onion, cook and stir over medium heat until no longer pink. Add garlic, cook 1 min. Stir in broth, water, tomatoes and bring to a boil.

Add tortellini, return to a boil. Cook for 5-8 min. or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, add the spinach, basil, pepper, and pepper flakes. Cook 2-3 min. longer or until spinach is wilted and tortellini are tender. Serve with the shredded Parmesan, if desired.

Freezer option: Place individual portions of cooled soup in freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth, if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 6 servings/2 quarts

Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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