Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Hearty Favorite

When my husband and I registered for my bridal shower, we put all sorts of appliances and gadgets on our list. We received pretty much all of them, and we use them all to varying degrees. But one that I use regularly -- on a weekly basis during the winter months -- is the slow cooker. This recipe combines the slow cooker combine with one of my favorite meals: soup.

This one is another favorite of ours. Great flavor, satisfying, easy to make, and freezes nicely. No wonder this recipe is heavy in my rotation.

Hearty Pasta Tomato Soup
Recipe from Taste of Home

  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 28-oz. can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups sliced zucchini
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. In a skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; add the next 13 ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Stir into slow cooker; cover and cook 30 minutes longer. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

  • If your supermarket doesn’t have bulk sausage, buy links. Remove the casings and when you brown in the skillet, break apart with a potato masher. (Much easier than using a fork or wooden spoon.)
  • 1 14-oz. can of beef broth is approximately 2 cups.
  • I omitted the mushrooms because I don't care for them, and the fresh parsley because I didn't want to buy a large bunch when the recipe called for so little. I doubt that affected the taste.
  • I substituted diced tomatoes for the stewed ones. Again, in the interest of doing it the easy way.

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