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italian sausage and tortellini pesto soup

August 26, 2008

I had some Italian sausage in the freezer.  I thought, PASTA! but all the recipes seemed like a paler version of this, which is the best pasta ever.

Epicurious had a recipe from Bon Appetit for Italian and Tortellini Soup.  I used it as a base, but changed it so it was more flavourful and less-watery by throwing in a little jar of premade pesto sauce.  It smelled fabulous and was this deep dark green colour.  It was thick and chunky – a real peasant-dish, simply made, and perfect with a piece of ciabatti bread.

Here it is, as adapted by me:

Italian Sausage and Tortellini Pesto Soup

4 Italian sausages, casings removed
1 cup chopped red onion
4 large garlic cloves, sliced
4 cups beef stock broth
5 chopped tomatoes 
1 8-ounce can diced tomatoes in sauce
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 small jar of pre-made pesto
8 to 10 ounces purchased fresh cheese tortellini
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Sauté Italian sausage in a pasta pot over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling with back of spoon into medium sized chunks, about 10 minutes. using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl.  Add onion and garlic to pot and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Return sausage to pot.

Add stock, tomatoes, tomato sauce, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, wine, pesto sauce, basil and oregano. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.

Add tortellini to soup and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

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