As I look out the window this morning, I see the freshly fallen snow and know immediately what's on the dinner menu tonight. Today feels like a lazy, laid-back Sunday is in order, and that means that dinner is going to be quick and easy tonight.
One of my favorite ways to celebrate the first snowfall (I know - we just got a dusting, but today is the first dusting of the year!) is to make a big pot of soup. To make the meal complete, I serve it with a salad and fresh rolls or bread.
There is a new bread store in Livonia that just opened - Art of Bread. It is in the same shopping center as Joe's Produce. Everything they offer is made from scratch daily, using natural ingredients. The flour is unbleached and unbromated. I've been very pleased with my purchases from there so far!
This soup is full of flavor and almost effortless to prepare. Because it's filled with vegetables and uses turkey or chicken sausage, it's a healthy meal that really satisfies. You'll notice that the kale is added last. Greens like kale are high in many important vitamins and even calcium! Overcooking them reduces their nutritional value, so be sure to just wilt them before serving.
I hope you take the liberty to make the soup your own by adding or taking away some of the ingredients, using what you like most. Pack this soup with veggies if you want it to be more filling. Adding extra vegetables will increase the fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer.
To make the soup Gluten Free, simply omit the tortellini and use white beans instead.
Sausage & Kale Soup with Tortellini
1 lb. Italian turkey or chicken sausage
2 sweet onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 qt. chicken broth (low sodium)
1 lb. tortellini (I like to use fresh or frozen instead of dried)
1 bunch kale, chopped
Parmesan, grated (optional)
Remove the casing from the sausage and crumble. Discard the casing. Brown the crumbled sausage in a small amount of oil in a large stock pot.
Remove the sausage from the pot and brown the onions next, using the oil from the sausage. Once the onions are nicely caramelized, add the garlic and brown that as well.
Next, add the chicken stock slowly and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits of caramelized fond from the bottom of the pan (this is where all the flavor is).
Continue to add the rest of the stock and then the carrots. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Once the soup is simmering, add the tortellini and cook until it is tender. Add the kale last (you want to add it near the end so it does not overcook).
Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper if you choose. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if you'd like. Enjoy!