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Delicious Italian Soup with Spicy Sausage, Tortelloni, and Vegetables
Most everyone has eaten minestrone soup which is basically a tomato, bean, and vegetable soup with quite a bit of liquid. Most of these are excellent but we wanted something heartier, with a variety of vegetables, that could serve as a main dish. After some trials, we found this to be the one we liked best and it can be modified easily too!
3 cups slightly cooked cheese tortelloni -- uncooked works OK also
- 2 cans cannolini beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 can tomatoes (diced or puree if people want them smoother)
- 1 pound Italian or Hot sausage (not in links)
- 1 small chopped onion
- 1 carrot, sliced thinly
- 1 small zucchini, sliced or chopped
- 1 T parsley flakes
- 1 cup spaghetti sauce
- 1 T Tuscany Italian Spice (or to taste)
- 2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1 garlic clove minced (or 1/4 t. ground garlic spice)
- 1-2 cups grated cheese (see below)
Sauté the chopped onion in olive oil. Remove from the skillet and add the sausage. Using a spatula or other utensil, break up any meat clumps into small pieces. When the sausage is lightly browned, put this and the onions in a large pan. Add the tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, garlic, seasonings, and spaghetti sauce. Simmer for a couple of hours to blend the flavors and soften the carrots..
About 45 minutes before serving, prepare the tortelloni according to the package instructions. Add the tortelloni and cannelini beans to the tomato/sausage mixture.
Additional notes and suggestions
- We prefer a spicy spaghetti sauce; i.e., Classico's Spicy Red Pepper or Tomato Basil. I tend to keep these on hand but I am sure other varieties and brands would also work well. You might need to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.
- I am a 'meat snob' and prefer to buy the sausage and cook it myself. Often already meat stuffed pasta contains a lesser quality of meat. That is why I use the cheese tortelloni.
- I use the Tuscan Italian seasoning but any Italian seasoning could be used. A family member shared the Tuscan with me so do not have an ingredient list but this variety seems to have a little more 'zing'.
- Onions can cause issues so I sauté them in oil or butter when using them in soups and stews.
- Chopped celery may be added, also fresh green beans cut into about one inch pieces. Both will need to be precooked.
- Grated fresh parmeson or mozzerola can be used as a topping but only a little if cheese tortelloni is used.
- Serve with toasted Italian bread if desired.
- This soup is wonderful as a leftover meal. The pasta does not break down when reheating.
This is an excellent soup both nourishing and tasty. It is also easy to modify to appeal to everyone. Enjoy!!