It’s funny that I’m calling this Sausage and Tortellini Soup when the motivation behind making it was all the vegetables that I packed into the pot. I was craving vegetables but didn’t feel like a salad, so I decided to whip up a big pot of veggi-licious soup. Last-minute I decided to add some Italian sausage and pasta to make it a more filling meal, and what do you know, the add-ins became the star of the show. :P
Alternatives to Tortellini
I had originally intended to use orzo for the pasta, but found some really inexpensive tortellini at Aldi and scooped that up instead. The cheese-filled tortellini made the soup quite filling and added a good amount of flavor and texture variety. If you can’t find affordable tortellini, you can use just about any pasta shape. If using orzo like I had planned, I’d probably add about 1/2 cup. For larger pasta shapes, I’d probably use about 1/4 pound so that it doesn’t overtake the soup.
Make it Vegetarian
If you want to skip the sausage and make this soup vegetarian, I’d suggest grabbing some Italian seasoning blend and adding a healthy dose of that to make up for the herbs and spices that are in the sausage, which go a long way toward flavoring the entire pot. You may also want to add an extra tablespoon or so of olive oil for richness.
Sausage and Tortellini Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
- 1/2 lb. Italian sausage ($1.75)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.28)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
- 1/2 lb. carrots (about 3-4) ($0.45)
- 1 15oz. can stewed tomatoes* ($0.49)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
- Freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)
- 3 cups vegetable broth ($0.39)
- 3 cups water ($0.0)
- 8 oz. cheese tortellini ($1.49)
- 1/4 lb. fresh spinach ($.75)
- Add the olive oil and sausage to a large soup pot (if your sausage is in casings, squeeze it out of the casing). Sauté the sausage over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces as you stir, until it is browned and cooked through.
- While the sausage is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and continue to sauté until the onions are soft and transparent.
- While the onions are sautéing, peel and slice the carrots. Add the carrots to the pot and sauté for just a few minutes more.
- Finally, add the stewed tomatoes (with all the juices from the can), basil, oregano, and some freshly cracked pepper. Use your spoon to break the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
- Add the vegetable broth and water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring it up to a rolling boil. Once boiling, add the tortellini, and continue to boil until the tortellini is tender (about 8 minutes).
- Turn the heat off, add the spinach, and stir until the spinach has wilted. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (I did not add any, but it will depend on the salt content of the broth you use).
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How to Make Sausage and Tortellini Soup – Step by Step Photos
I used about 1/2 lb. of Italian sausage for this soup and froze the rest. You can use mild, sweet, or hot Italian sausage. If you get sausage in the casing like I did, squeeze it out of the casing into the pot.
Add the sausage to a large soup pot along with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the sausage is browned and cooked through.
While the sausage is browning, dice an onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add them to the soup pot and continue to sauté until the onion are soft and transparent. While the onion and garlic are sautéing, peel and slice about 1/2 lb. carrots (3-4 carrots). Add them to the soup pot and continue to sauté for a few minutes more.
Add one 15oz. can of stewed tomatoes, with all their juices. Stewed tomatoes are cooked with herbs and spices and have a decidedly sweet flavor, which makes this soup’s broth super delicious. The tomato pieces tend to be large, so you’ll want to break them up with your spoon.
Add 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, and some freshly cracked pepper. You can see here how the tomatoes have been broken up into smaller pieces. The stewed tomatoes should be quite tender and you can just squash them with the spoon until they break up.
Add 3 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring it up to a boil.
This is the package of tortellini I used. When looking for tortellini at the store, you can usually find it in a few places: dried tortellini will be with past in the pasta aisle, fresh tortellini will be in the refrigerated section near cheeses, and often you can find frozen tortelloni near the frozen bread and ravioli.
Drop the tortellini into the boiling soup and boil until the tortellini is tender. Note: Fresh tortellini cooks very quickly compared to dried, so check the package for guidance.
Finally, turn the heat off and add 1/4 lb. fresh baby spinach and stir it into the hot soup until wilted. Taste the soup and add salt if needed. I had an 8oz. bag of fresh spinach and just estimated half of the bag.
And that’s it! A huge pot of super delish Sausage and Tortellini Soup for under $10! You can definitely freeze the leftovers of this, too.