Tuscan Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage, White Beans and Kale

As I mentioned in the blog post, you can simply slice your Italian sausages and brown them as directed, or you can remove the casings and brown the sausage in bulk, or remove the casings and form little meatballs with the sausage and then brown. Your call. As for the tortellini, I don’t cook it all with the the soup, unless I’m feeding enough people to use the whole recipe. I like to boil the tortellini separately, depending on how many eaters (about 3 oz per person). When ready to serve, I place the tortellini in each bowl and then pour the soup over them, and this way the tortellini doesn’t get overcooked.

Serves 4-6

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 lb. sausage links (see headnote)

4 cloves garlic, minced

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

4 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

12 to 16 oz. refrigerated cheese tortellini (see headnote)

1 15-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed

5 oz. kale, chopped

Grated Parmesan, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add sausage and cook until golden and then stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute a few moments before adding the crushed tomatoes, white beans, chicken broth, salt and pepper.

Bring to a rolling simmer and add tortellini (see below). Simmer 20 minutes. Stir in the kale, and cook for a few minutes, or until just wilted.

Alternately, if you’re just feeding 2 or 3 people, boil about 3 oz of tortellini per person, drain and then place in each soup bowl. Pour the soup over the tortellini, drizzle with a little more olive oil and garnish with grated Parmesan.