There are so many variations on tortellini soup. It just goes to show you that you pretty much can’t go wrong with it. It’s basically a vegetable soup (minestrone, if you will) built around the Italian cheese-filled pasta pouches known as tortellini. This version adds beans and fresh baby spinach. Served with a nice homemade bread or garlic toast, it’s hearty enough to make a meal out of. Tip: Prep your ingredients before you begin. Tortellini sausage soup is very easy to make.
Tortellini Sausage Soup Recipe
For the Sausage Meatballs:
1 pound bulk Italian sausage, spicy or mild (see Notes)
1/4 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup fine-grated Parmesan cheese (not the shelf-stable stuff)
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Soup:
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 can (15 ounces) white cannellini beans
1 can (15 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, optional
1 pound refrigerated or frozen (not the shelf-stable stuff) cheese tortellini
8 ounces baby spinach, stems trimmed (see Notes)
Artisan bread or garlic bread
Combine sausage, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, chives, egg, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Form into tiny balls about the diameter of a quarter.
Heat a soup pot over medium heat. When hot, coat the bottom of the pot with a thin film of olive oil. Lightly brown the sausage balls in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan.
Remove the last of the sausage and set aside. Add the red wine to the pot. Stir to scrape up the browned bits and cook until the wine is reduced by half.
Return all the sausage to the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Add chicken broth, cannellini beans with liquid, tomatoes with liquid, celery, onions, oregano, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a low boil. Simmer until celery has softened. Add the tortellini and cook until al dente.
Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach leaves, cover, and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes until spinach wilts.
Serve immediately with artisan bread or garlic bread.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
• If you cannot find bulk Italian sausage, simply use Italian sausage links and remove the casings. Bulk breakfast sausage may also be substituted.
• It may seem like a lot of spinach, but once it hits the hot liquid, it wilts down to almost nothing. You will want it all.
• Fresh escarole, roughly chopped, may be substituted for the baby spinach.
• Feel free to use your favorite type of tortellini, cheese or meat-filled. I like the tri-colored ones for added visual appeal.
• Sliced green onions or minced sweet onion may be substituted for the chives.