I have a serious soft spot for soup. Even in the summer, I love a good soup. This beautiful mix of sweet sausage and tortellini hits all the bases for me. I much prefer a broth-based soup on a regular day. This one is both hearty and filling, without feeling heavy. All the wins.
The most time consuming part of this prep is cooking the sausage. It’s worth it but it does require your patience. I like to get a sweet sausage and add spice with seasonings. But you could also use an Italian or spicy sausage here if it suits you. Get your skillet good and hot. You’re looking to really brown up the sausage and get a nice crunchy crust on the outside so you need so be more aggressive with the heat. Make little bite sized balls of sausage with your fingers and gently put them in the hot pan. Don’t crowd the pan – I usually do this in two lots. Turn them as needed in the pan to get nice and brown all over. When they are crisped up, remove them from the pan to a paper towel to drain off. Leave that sausage goodness in the pan for sautéing your onions. Add garlic after 8 minutes and cook 30 seconds longer all together.
While all this meat business is going down, put everything else except the pasta and spinach in a stock pot and bring it all to a boil. When your onions are done, add them in with the garlic and simmer it all to happiness for 10 minutes uncovered. At this point, I like to smash up the soup with a potato masher to break up the tomatoes a bit and get everything a little less structured. You’re not looking for a puree here, just breaking up the big chunks.
Add your pasta and cook it according to the package instructions (frozen tortellini is different than fresh in cooking time). Then add your sausage and spinach until it’s just wilted. Serve immediately. If you have a spicy crowd, then let each person use optional red pepper flakes to add heat as they like. This is such a winner soup, friends! Get some crusty bread and take it down.