Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

This is the recipe that got my mom into liking chicken sausage.  I had tried it once at Trader Joes and loved it, but my mom said she only like sausage with pork or turkey.  "Chicken is definitely not sausage," she would say.  However, she caved and said yes when I asked if I could make this recipe, and she definitely did not regret it once she tasted this wonderful soup.  It's very hearty, filled with lots of veggies, cheesy tortellini, and flavorful chicken sausage (which is also healthier than pork).  The broth is very flavorful as well, with tomato juice, white wine, and chicken broth.  I recommend (just like any other one of my soup recipes, really) enjoying this soup with some [garlic bread] on the side for dipping. Yum(: If you like spicy things, feel free to add as much red pepper flakes as you want.  This is is such a great recipe for a chilly night, not to mention its easy and economical.

1 8-ounce package sweet Italian chicken sausage links (mine had roasted peppers in them)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced carrots 
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine
4 ounces canned, petite diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 14-oz cans low sodium chicken broth
9 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini (I used half an 18-ounce bag)
3/4 cup fresh, chopped red tomatoes
8 ounces spinach leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
Garnish: Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat Dutch oven with 1/2 tsp of oil to coat and saute chicken sausage until browned and just cooked through. Remove from pan, let cool slightly, slice into small slices (about 1/2 inch thick) and set aside.
  2. Heat remaining oil in pan, add carrots and saute for about 4 minutes.  Add onions and mushrooms, and saute about 8 minutes more, or until the carrots are tender.  Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds, stir in wine, broth, and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add tortellini. Cook for another 5 minutes and then stir in spinach and tomato. Cook until the spinach wilts, 2 minutes.
  3. Return sauteed sausage pieces to the soup, cook for an additional 5 minutes, add the butter, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste and serve when butter is melted. Garnish with Parmesan if desired.

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