Sorry, sorry, sorry!!! I’ve missed a week of blogging but for a really good reason – we’ve been creating a recipe index for the blog. This was a project that needed to happen, but of course until I couldn’t find one of MY OWN recipes, it got put off. So now if you want to make, say, Italian Wedding Soup, it will be indexed under Soups. If only my closets and shelves were as organized…..
Speaking of soup, well, tis the season. It’s cold, snowy and rainy; plus we’re all really busy so soup is a good idea. Last night about 6:30 my family suddenly wondered what was for dinner. Sadly, so did I. I stared into the refrigerator for a while to see if something would miraculously appear. Nothing did, but a tiny trickle of inspiration hit me when I saw the package of smoked sausage plus a package of tortellini in the freezer. For years my guys have loved a recipe for sausage and white bean soup and it occurred to me that tortellini is rarely a mistake and tortellini soup is pretty good. So I made what music people call a mash-up. Two songs combined, or in my case, two recipes combined. If you’re ready to stop reading because it sounds hard, well you don’t yet. This is, a) a one-pot wonder, b) created with stuff already on hand, c) ready in half an hour, and best of all, d) crowned my family’s new favorite soup. And did I mention it’s so easy to put together you could almost do it in your sleep – which, in my experience, is how a lot of us cook during this busy time of year. Here you go – slice and sauté any kind of sausage, smoked, kielbasa, Italian – it doesn’t matter. Throw in some garlic; add chicken broth, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Open a can of cannelloni beans and toss them in. I added a about ½ cup of white wine at this point because I was finishing a glass I didn’t really love and wanted to open a new bottle! Cook your tortellini and add that to the pot. Now here is an option; I had some escarole and threw that in for the last 10 minutes. Yum – could have used spinach, kale – probably any green leafy thing or even left it out all together, but the escarole made the soup pretty and if I can get my family to eat a green thing I do it! This would be a good company recipe for a girl’s night, a movie night, or just a family get-together. Add some bread and tell someone else to bring dessert – done. This recipe will make you happy!
(aka: What’s for Dinner Soup)
12 to 16 oz sliced sausage, smoked, kielbasa, Italian, Polish (whatever is on hand)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth in cans, containers, or bouillon cubes
1 can cannelloni or small white beans, drained
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
½ cup white wine
12 to 16 oz tortellini
Optional: one very small bunch escarole or kale or spinach coarsely chopped
Parmesan cheese for serving
In a large pot or Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium high heat.
Add sausage and sauté to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for one minute.
Pour in chicken or vegetable broth and add oregano and red pepper flakes.
In a separate pot, cook tortellini according to package directions. (You can add tortellini to the same pot as the soup to cook, but it tends to soak up all the liquid and get mushy.)
While the tortellini cooks, add escarole to soup pot.
Stir in cooked tortellini and taste for salt and pepper.