The day after I Christmas, I needed a warm soup. And by needed, I mean I NEEDED soup. I craved the smell of vegetables cooking, the aromatic way in which they would dance around my kitchen, reminding me of the simplicity of cooking. I longed for an honest soup, one of few ingredients but full of flavor. And of those desires, this soup was born.
I began this soup by browning sweet Italian sausage (in olive oil) in a large cast iron stockpot. To do this, you’ll want to squeeze the sausage out of the casings of four links. As you squeeze each link, allow the sausage to break into small sausage balls.
While the sausage browns, thinly slice two carrots and dice one medium onion. Add both to the pot. Using a garlic press, add three cloves of garlic. Season with salt. Allow the vegetables and garlic to soften.
Add one can of petite diced tomatoes and two cartons of chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add one bay leaf.
Thaw a package of frozen spinach. Add half of the package to the soup, making sure to break it apart as you put it in the broth. You certainly can add more spinach – I just went light on it. Taste the broth and add more salt and pepper as needed.
Bring the soup to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions. Serve soup immediately. Sprinkle with parmigiano-reggiano cheese sprinkled on top and a hunk of crusty bread on the side. YUM!
- 4 links of sweet Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press or finely minced
- 1 can (16 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
- 2 boxes (32 oz. each) of chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 container frozen spinach, thawed
- 2 20 oz. packages of tri-colored tortellini (I used Buitoni tortellini.)