a simple, comforting creamy tortellini soup with tomatoes, italian sausage, and spinach
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
1 ½ lbs bulk italian sausage (mild or spicy)
freshly cracked black pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper, plus more if you want it spicier
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
4 carrots, peeled + sliced ¼”
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 qt chicken stock
2 large sprigs fresh oregano
½ lb cheese-filled tortellini
½ cup heavy cream
2 extra large handfuls fresh spinach
grated parmesan cheese, to garnish
toasted bread, for serving
Heat a large dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot) over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break it apart into bite-sized chunks. Cook the sausage for about 5-6 minutes, stirring often, or until browned on all sides and cooked through. Season with salt and black pepper. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the crushed red pepper, fennel seeds, onion, and fennel to the pot. Season again. Saute for about 8 minutes until slightly caramelized. Add the carrots and garlic. Cook for another couple of minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste. Cook for a minute or so before pouring in the white wine. Allow the wine to simmer for a minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and oregano sprigs.
Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to a medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the oregano sprigs.
Add the tortellini and cook for 2-3 minutes, or according to the package’s instructions. Stir in the cream and add the sausage back to the soup to heat through. Add the spinach and let wilt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with lots of grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with toasted bread alongside for dipping.