Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Now, this recipe was made for me by my sweet friend Sheryl and she was kind enough to share this recipe with me. I apologize ahead of time for the awful picture and I can't believe I forgot to top the soup with parm! My preggo brain must be in full swing! :) Soooo it may not look amazing in this pic, but it does taste AMAZING! I absolutely love the Italian sausage in this. I have made it with the sweet & the hot. Both are excellent, but I recommend using the sweet if you are serving children because the hot can be too spicy! This is so good on a cold night and perfect with some rosemary olive oil bread (From Costco) and a perfect Caesar salad! I like to double this recipe and freeze half, but be sure to freeze it with OUT the tortellini so the pasta doesn't get all soggy on you. Then just boil fresh tortellini the night you want to serve it! Bon appetit'

Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup
1 lb. bulk sweet or hot Italian sausage
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 med. onion, chopped
1 red or yellow pepper, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
½ c. dry red wine (optional)
5 c. beef broth
1 Tbsp. dried basil
2 c. chopped tomatoes (fresh, or canned w/ puree)
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
8 to 10 oz. cheese tortellini
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Brown sausage, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat. Drain fat, if any. Add beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, zucchini, carrot, red or yellow pepper, wine, and herbs. Simmer until vegetables are tender crisp. Add tortellini to soup and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Taste for seasoning; serve in bowls with Parmesan cheese.

NOTE: If using fresh tortellini, it will swell and will not reheat very well. You can make the soup ahead up to that point and then reheat it and add tortellini.
(I think this soup tastes better the next day, even if I’ve already cooked the tortellini.)

For the chopped tomatoes, I use almost two whole cans of diced tomatoes, and most of the puree that is in the cans.

Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Soup with Kielbasa

My Husband and I live in the Northwest and with that comes a lot of cold and rain! So soup is something we love and have often. A few years back we were both on a serious diet and I was on the hunt for a yummy & tasty soup that was low in calorie but that my Hubby & I would still love and enjoy! Weight watchers was kind enough to email me this recipe and I adapted it to fit our family. Since then, this has been a staple meal for us. I make it almost every month from fall to spring and I always double it so that I can freeze half. The rolls are soooo delicious with this soup and I always double that recipe as well since the rolls freeze so well too! I hope you take the time to throw this one together for you will be worth it!

Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Soup with Kielbasa
adapted from Weight Watchers Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup onions, diced
3/4 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 Turkey Kielbasa sliced 1/2 inch thick
28oz canned tomatoes, diced, in juice, undrained
15oz canned cannellini beans, drained & rinsed (I have used Pinto beans & loved it!)
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried Thyme
1 cup Kale, frozen, chopped (I have used frozen, chopped spinach)
1 cup frozen cut green beans
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Fennel seed
1/2 tsp black ground pepper

* Heat oil in a large saucepan, add onion, carrots and celery. Saute 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add broth, Kilbasa, tomatoes with juice, beans, garlic, fennel seeds, and thyme. bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in Kale (or spinach), green beans, salt & pepper. Simmer covered for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Yields about 6 servings (1 1/2 cups ea.)

Note: Store in refrigerator for up to four days or freeze for future consumption!

Soft Yogurt Sandwich Rolls
Recipe Source:

3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp honey
1 cup water, warm (100-110F)
1 cup yogurt (nonfat/lowfat is fine; I used Greek-style...not sweetened)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, the active dry yeast, the honey and the warm water. Stir well and let sit for 10 minutes, until slightly foamy.
Stir in yogurt, vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of the remaining flour. Gradually stir in more flour until you have a soft dough that sticks together pulls away from the sides of the bowl (This can all be done in a stand mixer with the dough-hook attached, as well).

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, or about 5 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Turn risen dough out of bowl and onto a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate, pressing into a rectangle. Divide dough into 10 even pieces with a board scraper or a pizza cutter. Shape each piece into a round roll. To do this, take all the corners of one of the squarish pieces you just cut and pull them together, pinching them to create a seal. This will pull the rest of the dough “tight” across the top of your roll, giving you a smooth top. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
Once all rolls have been formed, press down firmly on each one to flatten. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for 25 minutes.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until rolls are deep golden on the top and the bottom.
Cool on a wire rack.
Store in an airtight container.

Makes 10 rolls.

*I divide dough into smaller amounts to make rolls instead of sandwich size rolls. If you make them sandwich size they are EXCELLENT for Mini sliders and BBQ Pork/beef sandwiches!