Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

1/2 Lb. Italian sausage, opt.

1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans tomato soup

1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth

2 1/4 c. half-and-half (I used fat-free)

1 tsp. onion powder

1 Tbl. Italian seasoning

salt and pepper, to taste

9 oz. cheese-filled tortellini

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

    plus more for serving

Opt: 1 Tbl. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbl. cold water

Brown sausage in large pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped bell pepper and saute until tender.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Drain any grease.  Add the tomato soup, chicken broth, half-and-half, onion powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and add the tortellini.  If you want your soup a little thicker, stir in cornstarch mixture.  Cook until tortellini is done (check package directions).  Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.  Garnish with more Parmesan, for serving.  Serves: 4-5.  

Jenn's Notes: I wanted meat in my soup and Italian sausage was perfect and tasted great, but it is completely optional.  I did add the cornstarch mixture.  This is a great recipe.  

adapted from: Key Ingredient