Friday, November 8, 2013

Tortellini Soup

   The other day I was shopping at the market and saw that fresh tortellini was on sale. A 20 oz package (that normally sells for $8.99) was on sale for $5.99 and you also got a loaf of fresh baked french bread for FREE, so of course I bought some! :)  I have been wanting to try this tortellini soup recipe that my friend Kim says is her favorite soup. I hardly ever splurge on tortellini, so I have had this recipe pinned for over a year now and hadn't been able to try it . . . until now.
    I used Charlotte's Tortellini Soup recipe as a starting off point, but I wanted to add more veggies than the recipe called for, so I changed my version some. I also used half and half water and beef broth, because you honestly don't need to spend the money on broth when the water and veggies make their own yummy liquid together. The other change you'll see in my version is that I omited the red pepper. This was a mistake on my part. I had it in the fridge and forgot to add it. So, add it if you wish, but feel free to customize the soup to your liking.
   I'm giving you the original recipe, and also my bulked up version. My big pot of soup fed my family for three days, so if you don't want a huge pot of soup you might want to cut back on the ingredients a bit. (Even if you cut back on the other veggies, you can still use one full can of tomatoes to make your life easier.)  My initial thought was that I would freeze whatever soup we didn't finish after the first night, and then have it for another meal down the road. But we all loved it so much that we wanted to eat it all up over the next couple of days!
    I haven't tried the original recipe, as written, so I'm not sure how it tastes. . . but I probably would cut back on the amount of ketchup it calls for. I used 1 cup for my pot of soup which was larger, and it was almost too sweet. As with most things, you can change this recipe up to suit your families tastes. I hope you enjoy it. It's one that we will be making time and time again. Thanks Kim! :)

 here's my bulked up recipe: 

Tortellini Soup

1 pound ground Italian sausage (may use links, if you prefer)
1 large onion, diced
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs of celery, sliced
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3 tsp minced garlic
1 medium to large zucchini, chopped
1 Mexican squash, chopped
4 cups beef broth
*4-5 cups water
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, with liquid (I used Italian Style with onions and garlic)
1 cup all natural ketchup
20 oz fresh tortellini pasta
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste 

In a large pot over medium high heat, brown the sausage and break up into small pieces. (if using links, slice them into bite sized pieces). When the sausage is brown, drain the fat and add the onions, carrots and celery. Salt and pepper the veggies lightly. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, zucchini, squash and Italian seasoning. Cook for another 5 minutes, and then stir in the tomatoes, ketchup, broth and water. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper to start (you can add more if you need it later). When the liquid comes up to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 7-10 minutes or until pasta and veggies are tender (follow package instructions for pasta). *If the pasta has absorbed too much liquid, you can add 1 more cup water. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve hot, topped with Parmesan cheese.
**This soup is really hearty, with not a lot of broth. If you like more liquid feel free to add more in the form of water or broth. (If you use water, you'll want to add more salt.)

here's the original recipe (from

Charlotte's Tortellini Soup

1 pound sausage  
1 cup chopped onion 
2 cups sliced carrots  
1 cup sliced celery  
6 cups beef broth  
1/2 cup red wine  
1 (16 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid  
1 cup ketchup  
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning  
2 cloves garlic, minced  
1 cup zucchini, sliced  
1 pound fresh tortellini pasta  
1 red bell pepper, diced  
1/4 cup chopped parsley 
salt and pepper to taste  
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Brown sausage in pot; drain off fat. Add onions and saute until tender. Add carrots, celery, beef broth, red wine, tomatoes, ketchup, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim away the fat from the soup. 
Stir in the zucchini, tortellini, red bell pepper, and parsley. (If you use fresh tortellini, cook them according to package directions.) Simmer, covered, for about 25-30 minutes or till the tortellini are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese right before serving.

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