Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini is a hearty and flavorful dish that combines the richness of Italian sausage with the comfort of tortellini pasta. Here’s the full recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (450g) Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 can (14 oz/400g) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups (950ml) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 package (9 oz/255g) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups (about 120g) fresh spinach, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
  • Fresh basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook Italian Sausage:
    • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until browned and cooked through. Remove any excess fat.
  2. Sauté Aromatics:
    • Add chopped onion, minced garlic, diced carrot, and diced celery to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Season the Soup:
    • Stir in dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  4. Add Tomatoes and Broth:
    • Pour in the can of diced tomatoes with their juices. Stir in the chicken or vegetable broth. Add a bay leaf for extra flavor. Bring the soup to a simmer.
  5. Cook Tortellini:
    • Once the soup is simmering, add the refrigerated cheese tortellini. Cook according to the package instructions or until the tortellini is al dente.
  6. Add Spinach:
    • Stir in the chopped fresh spinach and cook until it wilts into the soup.
  7. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes based on your preference.
  8. Serve:
    • Ladle the hot soup into bowls. If desired, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh basil or parsley.
  9. Enjoy:
    • Serve the Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini hot, and enjoy the comforting flavors of this hearty dish.
  10. Storage:
    • This soup can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. If reheating, you may need to add a little extra broth as the tortellini can absorb liquid.

Feel free to customize this recipe by adding additional vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini. The combination of savory Italian sausage, cheesy tortellini, and a flavorful broth makes this soup a satisfying and wholesome meal.

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini Benefits

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini not only satisfies your taste buds with its rich and savory flavors but also offers several nutritional benefits, thanks to its diverse ingredients. Here are some potential benefits associated with this delicious soup:

  1. Protein Source:
    • Italian sausage is a significant source of protein. Protein is essential for the body’s muscle repair, immune function, and overall structural integrity.
  2. Vegetables for Nutrients:
    • The inclusion of vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, and celery adds essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the soup. These nutrients support overall health and contribute to a well-rounded diet.
  3. Tomatoes for Antioxidants:
    • Tomatoes, found in the diced tomatoes used in the soup, are rich in antioxidants, including lycopene. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress in the body and may contribute to various health benefits.
  4. Leafy Greens for Fiber and Nutrients:
    • Fresh spinach, a leafy green added to the soup, provides dietary fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin K, A, and C), and minerals. Fiber supports digestive health and helps maintain a feeling of fullness.
  5. Tortellini for Carbohydrates and Protein:
    • Cheese tortellini contributes carbohydrates and additional protein to the soup. Carbohydrates are a primary energy source, while protein aids in muscle function and repair.
  6. Broth for Hydration and Flavor:
    • The broth used in the soup, whether chicken or vegetable, adds moisture and imparts a savory flavor to the dish. Staying hydrated is crucial for overall well-being.
  7. Herbs and Spices for Flavor and Potential Health Benefits:
    • Herbs and spices like dried oregano, basil, thyme, and red pepper flakes not only enhance the flavor of the soup but may also provide additional health benefits. Some herbs and spices contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
  8. Customization for Dietary Preferences:
    • The flexibility of the recipe allows for customization based on dietary preferences. For example, using lean or plant-based sausage alternatives, whole wheat tortellini, or adjusting spice levels can cater to specific dietary needs.
  9. Comfort and Mental Well-Being:
    • Comfort foods, such as this hearty soup, can contribute to a sense of well-being and satisfaction. Enjoying a comforting meal can have positive effects on mental health and mood.

It’s important to note that while this soup offers nutritional benefits, moderation and balance in overall dietary choices are key to a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, individual nutritional needs vary, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice based on your specific health goals and conditions.

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