I really need to post this before I forget the recipe myself. I'm a big fan of getting an idea for something and running with it, as well as making a soup out of whatever is in the fridge and pantry. In light of that, I give you this incredibly easy and inexpensive weeknight soup that tastes slow-cooked, but isn't. Sorry, guys - I'll take a photo next time!
Smoked Sausage Tortellini Soup
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 link turkey smoked sausage (fully cooked), cut in rounds, then in half again
1 32 oz carton chicken broth
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 can great northern beans (or cannellini beans, if you prefer)
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 pkg cheese-filled tortellini*
* I used the fresher, refrigerated variety- like Buitoni. If you don't care for this, can't find it or already have the dried stuff, just par-boil if beforehand.
Heat a little olive oil in a stock pot and start sauteing your onions, carrots and garlic, then toss in your chopped sausage to brown up a bit, then your tomatoes and beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Add all of the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Add your chopped spinach and let it wilt for about 2-3 minutes, then add your tortellini and let it cook for about 5-10 more - but make sure the pasta doesn't cook so long that it explodes or gets mushy. Slow and low! Toss a little shredded Parmesan on the finished product, and serve with some crusty bread and a salad. You're welcome.