Monday, 12 May 2014

Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

There is just something about tomatoes and Italian spices simmering that never fails to make me smile. Luckily for me, everyone in my family shares this love of Italian flavors. One of my favorite meats to include in a soup is sausage. If you choose a spicy or hot variety, the sausage alone will bring a great deal of flavor to the soup. Along with some tomatoes, beans and baby spinach, this was a really great combination of flavors that every member of the family enjoyed. My middle son ate three bowls of this soup and told me twice that it was a two thumbs up meal.

The lentil stew with Italian sausage and kale turned out really well! It was nice and warm and just full of flavour and healthy vegetables and it really hit the spot on the cold winter days. I had half of a loaf of bread left from the artichoke bread and that was the perfect excuse to slather it up with garlicky butter and toast it with some cheese on top. The cheesy garlic bread was perfect for soaking up that lat bit of tasty stew from the bottom of the bowl. Lentil Stew with Italian Sausage and Kale (makes 4+ servings)

If you want to whip this up in a flash during the week when you don’t have a lot of time for dinner, and the troops are harassing you to make something delicious right away, make this soup. Some help from the store can have this soup on the table in 30 minutes. Use low-sodium store bought chicken stock or broth. Buy the kale in the pre-washed, pre-cut sacks that are ready to go. If you are not a fan of pork sausage, a spicy Italian chicken sausage does the same trick. No one will know, and your family will love you for it.

A few notes on the ingredients. I used fresh tomatoes, as I love how they look in a soup and I like to avoid the chemicals in canned food. However I am sure that you could substitute a 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes. I used mild Italian sausage (a very nice, custom made one that I can buy locally). You can use whatever type you like best, hot would be good as well. Chicken or turkey sausage would work beautifully and I am sure that this soup would still be good even without the sausage for a vegetarian/vegan soup, as well.

Now, this kind of cold really chills you to the bone and it’s hard to shake. In my opinion, nothing warms you up better than a big bowl of soup, which is why I’ve been making at least one pot of homemade soup a week. This recipe has made an appearance three times so far this month – I love it so much. It’s super easy and quick and we always have leftovers for lunch the next day. The spicy Italian sausage lends a lot of flavor to the soup. You can use any sausage you like, but I prefer the flavor from a good quality spicy sausage.


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