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Tasty Tortellini & Sausage soup (2/15/2008)

Tasty Tortellini & Sausage Soup

1 lb. Ground Italian Sausage (hot or mild)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ cloves minced garlic
3 cups beef broth
½ cup red wine
1 14 ½ oz. Can Italian Stewed tomatoes
½ of 1 10 oz. Pkg. Frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
2 carrots, chopped
½ tsp. Basil
½ tsp. Oregano
1 8oz. Can tomato sauce
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 pkg. Cheese tortellini
1 medium Red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (dried is fine)
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, brown sausage, garlic and onion until well browned. Drain fat. Add beef broth, wine, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, basil, oregano and tomato sauce. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim fat as needed. Add zucchini, tortellini, bell pepper and parsley. Simmer 15 minutes, or until tortellini floats. Serve and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with lettuce salad and crusty French Bread. If you need to thin it out, add some water until it reaches desired consistancy.

If youd like to make this in the crockpot, brown sausage with onion and garlic, drain and add to 5 quart crock. Add broth, water, wine, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce and zucchini. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Turn heat to high and add tortellini, bell pepper and bell pepper. Cook 15-30 minutes and serve. Makes about 3 quarts.

This week's recommended wine from Van's Liquor Store in East Dubuque: Ferarri-Carano Fume Blanc.

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