Life can get crazy around the holidays. You have a whole list of people to shop for, parties to attend, and cards to send out in just a month’s time, all the while keeping up with your regular to-dos.
Scott and I were out late last night and bounced from one holiday party to the next. While it was convenient to already be ready, it was kind of a bummer that we had to cut out early at one and miss a lot of the other. Boo.
In an attempt to stay on track through this week of madness, I wanted to put together a hearty and comforting recipe. With the chilly weather outside, my body is craving soup more than ever! Aren’t soup leftovers the best?
The following recipe took around 40 minutes to prepare. Now that I’ve made it once, I could probably put it together closer to a half an hour. It’s pretty simple, and what I would consider to be a loaded (yet healthier) version of the standard Italian Tortellini soup.
3 (4 oz.) Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
4-6 cups light sodium chicken broth (depends on your thickness preference)
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin coins
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used organic with Italian herbs)
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans
1 (9 oz.) package refrigerated cheese tortellini noodles
1 (5 oz.) package baby spinach, coarsely chopped
3/4 tsp. dried basil (you can also substitute thyme or oregano)
1/4 tsp. pepper
generous dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
cook time: 40 mins.
servings: 6 (about 2 quarts)
1. Crumble sausage into a large skillet. Add onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.
2. Add garlic. Cook and stir 2 more minutes.
3. In a large pot, combine broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
4. Stir in tortellini, carrots, celery, and beans. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer (uncovered) for 5-8 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the spinach, basil, pepper, and pepper flakes (if desired). Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top, if desired!
Want to get in on my secret of making almost any soup better for you?
Step 1: substitute the red meat for a lighter protein.
Step 2: chop up as many veggies as you can (that make sense)!
Step 3: sneak in even more veggies (and beans for extra protein).
Step 4: substitute whole wheat, veggie or gluten-free noodles. For tortellini, you could go for a veggie stuffed tortellini like mushroom or squash.
Step 5: get rid of the garlic salt and stick to using real garlic and fresh herbs.
Step 6: ENJOY!!
Sorry if I just made you hungry. (Maybe lunch or dinner is right around the corner?) I’m off to heat up leftovers and will see ya back in a few with my latest Stitch Fix breakdown!
Question of the Morning
What is your favorite kind of soup?
I have two all-time favorites, and they totally reflect my love for Italian and Mexican cuisine. One is minestrone and the other is chicken tortilla. If a restaurant offers either, I will most likely order it!