Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tortellini Sausage Soup

photo from Our Best Bites

This is a great fall soup that satisfies and is just a little different from your ordinary fare. I highly recommend making it with Our Best Bite's breadsticks. To. Die. For. As good as (or in my opinion, better than) Olive Garden's soft garlic breadsticks. I'll post that recipe next, maybe tomorrow.

I found a 19 oz. package of frozen tortellini on sale for $2.99 at Fry's/Kroger:

Wal-mart used to carry the dried variety which might be the cheapest, but I don't know if they still carry it. The fresh kind in the refrigerated section will cost the most.

As for Italian sausage, there are usually 3 varieties: sweet, mild, and hot. I prefer sweet, if you can find it. It will either come in casings (links) or just in a block like ground beef:

If you can only find it in casings, just squish it out or slice the casings lengthwise and remove the sausage that way (this is before you cook it). Discard the casing.

Note: If you're making breadsticks, start the dough first, then prepare the first "phase" of the soup while the dough is rising. While the soup is simmering, twist the breadsticks, let them rise, and they'll be done baking about the same time the soup is done.

from Our Best Bites

3 links Italian sausage
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup water
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes (I only had a 14.5 oz can and it turned out fine)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup sliced carrots
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 medium zucchini, grated
8-10 oz pkg. cheese tortellini
2 Tbsp. dried parsley

Remove casings from links and crumble into large pot. Begin cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently. Drain sausage halfway through cooking time. Add garlic and onions and continue to cook until sausage is browned and onions are tender.

Add water, broth, cider, tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, basil, and oregano. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add zucchini and parsley and simmer another 15 minutes. Add tortellini and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

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