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Tortellini and Sausage Soup by Maggie

This soup feeds a family of 6. The soup shown in this photo was made without the milk product. I wanted to do a variation on the original and that is when I omitted the milk and added the canned stewed diced tomatoes. Both versions are really tasty. This recipe is wonderful to add and delete ingredients as you wish. The only thing you need to always do is add more broth once you start to add a lot of extras (especially extra pasta since it soaks up the liquid).  On cooking day, bake some breaksticks and serve with this soup for a wonderful combination.

4 1/2 c. cooked/drained Italian sausage (mild for my kiddos)

4 1/2 c. refrigerated tortellini pasta (we love the ones they sell at Costco)
2 can evaporated milk (or equivelant half and half cream in the dairy section)
2 cans chicken  broth
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 1/2 tbsp. oregano
1 1/2 tbsp. parsley
1 1/2 tbsp. chives
1 chopped green onion (optional)
1 c. chopped white mushrooms (optional)
a handful of rinsed baby spinach (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Bring all ingredients EXCEPT the pasta to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes.
If eating tonight:
Add tortellini and boil till noodles are soft. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.

FREEZING Instructions:
Cook pasta till al dente (chewy) then cool and bag.
Thaw overnight before cooking day. Pour contents of bag into a pot and boil till noodles are soft.

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