This is a new(ish) family favorite. Best part, it pleases all. My husband and I love soup and my kids love pasta. The marriage is perfect. This Tuscan tortellini soup is a fantastic slow cooker meal that is mostly effortless. A tomato-based soup is a great go-to option for me year-round. Tomatoes provide a great thickening agent without loading you up with calories. Because this is a winter soup, I want it to be a hearty one that the whole family to eat, I add cheese tortellini, store-bought (I do not make my own) and a flavorful chicken feta sausage. Any sausage would work here, but this is one I love and the flavors blend well with the style of the soup.
My Tuscan tortellini soup is based on the well-know and must loved classic Italian favorite that has been around for centuries, Pappa al Pomodoro or as most know it, tomato and bread soup. Like Pappa al Pomodoro, my soup is also rustic made with a chicken stock tomatoes, garlic, onions, but I replace the bread and add pasta and sausage and kale to make it more of a meal.
Many people ask me what kind of tomatoes to use for making soup and are fresh tomatoes the only way to make a flavorful soup. In truth, most tomatoes soups are not made with fresh tomatoes. Even my quick gazpacho is made with good quality canned tomatoes. Tomato brands I prefer are San Marzano or Muir Glen, to me, there is a difference, but that is not the case with everyone. The takeaway is even in the Summer months when fresh tomatoes are in abundance, you don’t need fresh ones to make this or any other tomato based soup, so don’t let that limit you.
If you are a vegetarian, this soup can be made with vegetable stock and without the sausage and be just as tasty. While this is not considered a quick meal (you cannot make it in 30 minutes) but it is an easy meal. Just a little prep work is required and the slow cooker does the hard part. This is a great soup for winter months, for me, it’s perfect on ski weekends when I want something warming to come home to.
Tuscan Tortellini Soup
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken and feta sausage, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 3 (28-ounce) cans good quality crushed tomatoes
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (9-ounce) package cheese tortellini
- 2 cups kale roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Step 1 In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes till fragrant. Add the sausage and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
- Step 2 In a 6 qt. slow cooker add the sausage-onion mixture, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook on high for about 3 1/2-4 hours.
- Step 3 Add the tortellini and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
- Step 4 Once the tortellini is cooked, add the chopped kale, heavy cream and parmesan and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as needed and serve hot.