Saturday, January 19, 2008

Italian Sausage-Tortellini Soup (and cranes!)

It's time for another tasty treat, and this one has a small history.

Several years ago we spent Christmas in Death Valley with a group of Lazy Daze owners. One night we had a potluck (I LOVE potlucks!) and there was the most wonderful soup. I asked around and It turned out that it was made by Barbara Berggreen. At the time I hardly knew her, but we've since become friends, and she was gracious enough to share the recipe.

And is it ever yummy! Thanks Barbara!

You start out with a pound or so of sweet Italian sausage (although I once goofed and bought hot sausage and the soup was still good, just different). Brown the sausage along with one chopped onion and as much garlic as you like (I like about five cloves, but we LOVE garlic).

After this is all browned, if there is too much oil, drain the mixture. Then you'll want to add two cans of stewed tomatoes and a box of beef broth. At this point I add my spices, which vary from batch to batch, but usually include basil fennel, rosemary, oregano and whatever else strikes my fancy).

Bring this up to a boil then simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes.

After the flavors are nicely blended, add a package of fresh, uncooked tortellini. I prefer Buitoni, and I use a twenty ounce package, but you might like a smaller package. We like a LOT of tortellini, and usually prefer the three cheese flavor, but use whatever you like. You could use dried tortellini, but we like the fresh, again, it's a personal preference.

ANYHOW, once you put the tortellini in, just let is simmer till the pasta is nice and tender. Now you want to check your broth because depending on the pasta, you may need to add a bit more. At this stage, either beef or chicken broth works just as well, you just want to make sure you have enough to make a nice soup.

When serving, we like to shave a bit of fresh Parmesan to put in the bottom of the bowls, then a bit to float on the top. This is a perfect winter meal, especially with a nice crusty warm bread, and oh so easy!

I just wanted to recommend it to any of you who are in cold climes and wishing for a nice hot meal.

To make things easy for you, here's and ingredient list

1 pound Italian sausage
1 onion, chpped fine
garlic, chopped fine
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 large box beef broth (you may need more)
italian seasonings.

That's it!

Oh, and about the cranes . . .

Several of you received an email a while back with a teensy tiny slide show from a program I was trying. I found the program unsatisfactory, but kept looking and finally, found a program that suits my needs.

If you click here, you'll see a smallish slide show of some of my favorite pictures I've taken while we've been here at the bosque. Most of them have already been posted here on the blog, but I liked the idea of a slide show. It's rather large, so give it a while to load. If I get a good response, may add more of them later.

We will be leaving here next week, so hopefully I'll have pictures and stories of somewhere new to post!

Life is good!

1 comment:

Marian said...

Kate, your soup brought back a pleasant memory. A couple of years ago I accompanied Jerry to a conference in Bologna, Italy. Bologna is a "foodie city"--it's in the region where parmesan cheese, Parma ham, and tortelliini were invented. On one of my walks I stepped into a nice restaurant for lunch. Luckily I ordered one of their specialties: tortellini en brodo--tortellini in broth. It was fantastico :-) The tortellini were very tiny--I couldn't imagine how anyone could've folded them by hand. Now that I'm gluten-free, I must find a source of GF tortelliini or learn to make my own. I will try your recipe soon--thanks!