08 January 2010

Tortellini Soup with Sausage & Escarole

This soup has so many delicious Italian ingredients - cheese tortellini, spicy sausage, escarole - that you know it's going to be fantastic!  What I like best about this is that it comes together in half an hour and it doesn't require any long simmering times.  This comforting soup is something different from your old standards, but after one bowlful, you'll want to add it to your regular winter meal rotation.

If you can't find fresh escarole, you could substitute fresh spinach in this recipe.  The original recipe doesn't contain sausage, so if you were to omit that and swap in vegetable broth for the chicken broth, you could make this a vegetarian meal.  If I only have half the liquid as chicken stock, I supplement with water.  No matter what small changes you make, Tortellini Soup with Sausage & Escarole is a hearty, savory soup that will please your whole family.

Tortellini Soup with Sausage & Escarole
adapted from examiner.com 

1 lb. bulk ground spicy Italian sausage
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. white wine
8 c. chicken stock
2 lb. cheese tortellini
1 head escarole, washed and chopped
pecorino romano cheese (optional)

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.  Add the Italian sausage and cook over medium high heat, breaking up large clumps, until sausage is cooked through.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine - the liquid will steam a bit and pull up all the brown bits stuck to the pan (ie. the flavor!) - and allow to simmer and reduce for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, cover, and bring to a boil.

Once stock is boiling, add tortellini and escarole.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook for five minutes, or until tortellini is heated through.  If you like, serve with a sprinkling of pecorino romano cheese.

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