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Italian-Sausage and Tortellini Soup

From Taste of the South, Fall 04

Ingredients
  1. 1 (1.25-pound) package sweet Italian sausage
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  5. 4 (14.5-ounce) cans beef broth
  6. 1 1/2 cups dry red wine (See note.)
  7. 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  8. 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  9. 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  10. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  11. 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  12. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  13. 1 (8.8-ounce) package dried cheese tortellini
  14. Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Remove casings from sausage. Discard casings.
  2. Brown sausage, onion, and garlic in a large Dutch oven over medium heat on stovetop, stirring until sausage crumbles. Drain and return to pan.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and wine; bring to a boil. Add bell peppers, carrots, spinach, basil, parsley, and oregano; stir. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add tortellini and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tortellini is tender.
  5. Garnish, if desired.
Makes 17 cups
Note: Water may be substituted for dry red wine. Due to its higher salt content, cooking wine is not recommended.