Chicken sausage tortellini soup.

Oh, hey! Winter! You’re still here! WTH? We thought you were outie. So, yeah, we need something warm and comforting for dinner, like this easy Italian Chicken Sausage Tortellini Soup recipe. Yep, that should do the trick.

A friend gave me this recipe; she texted a photo of the page she’d clipped from a magazine, with a big cooking schmudge on the paper. So you know it’s a good one. I adapted the original by using chicken sausage, which I find just as tasty as pork and less greasy (and makes this into a fairly low-fat soup recipe). I added carrot to up the veggie quotient. You could substitute dried tortellini — or even those cute little mini cheese-filled raviolis — for the fresh pasta here.

Pretty much any soup known to humankind is better when eaten the day after it’s prepared, so that the flavors have time to build and blend. And this is no exception. Be advised, though: The pasta softens as it sits in the broth overnight. So if you’d like to keep the pasta a bit more al dente, then add it when you reheat the soup before enjoying it. A heaping handful of shredded Parm, a drizzle of good olive oil or a spoonful of pesto are good toppings for this easy Italian pasta soup.

Soup up, people!

Italian Chicken Sausage Tortellini Soup Recipe

serves 8

1 pound Italian style chicken sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 14.5 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth (homemade, or low-sodium canned)
5 cups baby spinach, long stems removed
1 9 oz. package refrigerated cheese tortellini
Shredded Parmesan cheese for serving

Heat a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high; reduce heat and crumble chicken sausage into the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally and breaking sausage into chunks, until it is slightly golden and cooked through, 7–10 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate. Add olive oil to the pot and warm over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and carrots soften, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and salt, cook 1 minute more. Add canned tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Add tortellini and simmer 5–7 minutes, until pasta is tender. At the last minute, add spinach and stir to wilt. Ladle soup into bowls and top generously with shredded Parmesan.

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