So everyone probably remembers meeting their significant other’s family for the first time… you tend to be nervous, excited, want to display “the best you.” Well two years ago, my boyfriend and I were dating long distance and I had my first trip to Alaska in the middle of winter (brrr) to not only meet his family and friends, but to have a job interview. Can you say nerve-wracking!?!?!?
Fast-forward to the soup.
This soup is full of flavors, can be as hearty or spicy as you want it to be, and is always a crowd pleaser on a chilly day! This was the soup Andrew’s mom made for me when I met her for the first time J Talk about comfort food and all nerves erased. I knew I would get along with his mom once I shared a bowl of this soup and lots of laughs with her that wintery day. Since this is Andrew’s favorite soup, I had to get my hands on the recipe –good thing his mom loves sharing recipes and spreading the joy of cooking as much as I do.
Confession: I forgot to buy the zucchini before I started cooking. Thankfully my amazing and supportive boyfriend, Andrew, volunteered to run to the store, saved the day, and surprised me with a bouquet. If that doesn’t earn soup, I don’t know what does!
I have adapted her recipe a bit, mainly because of the ingredients I tend to have on hand. I added the celery, some extra carrots, and tomato paste instead of tomato sauce. If you have tomato sauce on hand you can use an 8 oz can instead of the paste. I also added the red pepper flakes, but that’s because I love to have a lil spice in my meals ;)
Feel free to share your adaptations to this recipe with me.
Note: Depending on the type of tortellini you use, you might need to add a bit more water to your pot as it cooks. I use the fresh spinach tortellini from Trader Joe’s. I also always freeze my tortellini once I buy it to make sure it stays fresh; therefore, if your tortellini is refrigerate it might take less time to cook. On the other hand if you prefer dry pasta, it will probably expand more and take the full 10 minutes to cook.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
1 # italian pork sausage
1 C red onion chopped
2 stalks celery sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
4 C low-sodium beef stock (or any flavor stock)
14.5 oz can chopped fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
1 C water
2 t dried basil
¼ t red pepper flakes
2 large carrots peeled and sliced (1/4 inch slices)
1 large zucchini sliced (1/4 inch slices)
10 oz package fresh tortellini (I use spinach flavored)
- On medium-high heat, brown meat in a large pot. Remove the sausage once it has browned and sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the grease from the sausage (~5 minutes).
- Add the cooked sausage back into the soup pot and add the beef stock, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and spices bring to boil. I do not drain the grease, but feel free to do so if you want to make the soup even healthier.
- Add the sliced carrots, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Once the carrots start to get tender add sliced zucchini and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, then add tortellini and cook until veggies and pasta is tender (~10 minutes).
- Serve hot with fresh grated parmesan and a hot crusty baguette.