The photo does not do it justice here! This is by far my new favorite soup! I watched as a friend made it and took the recipe hoping Steve would like it too. It is a win all aound! (Our whole family loves it too.) I have added/changed some things to her recipe. Play with what suits your family! Here is the recipe: (at the bottom I added my other variations)
1 lb Italian sausage
1 c. coarse chop onion
2 cloves minces garlic
5 1/2 c water
3 beef boullion cubes
1/2 c. dry white wine ( I use 3/4c. Sutter Home - Sauvignon Blanc)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. chop zucchini
8oz package (or more!) of cheese tortellini
3 T parsley flakes
1 c. sliced carrots
1 med. green bell pepper
pepper (to taste)
1) In large 5 qt pot (at least) saute onion and garlic until tender. In another pan brown sauage and set aside.
2) Add water, boullion, wine, carrots, tomatoes, basil, oregano,pepper, tomato sauce and sausage to pot.
3) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20-30 min.
4) Stir in zucchini, tortellini, parsley and green peppers. Simmer another 30 min or until tortellini is tender.
** I do not measure anything but water and wine. I just chop to what looks right/tastes right. I love veggies and know that I put in way more - this is just a basis!
** I also add 4-5 chopped celery sticks (with step 2), and more zucchini.
** This freezes really well - but the tortellini doesnt. So I make sure to take it all out (or Steve eats it since it is his favorite part) and then freeze. When I reheat, I add fresh.
** I have also made this without the sausage and tortellini and used mini/small shells. Perfect Minestrone! (which was another hit!)