Spicy Italian Sausage And Spinach Tortellini Soup Recipe

Developer Chanel Murphy calls this recipe "my go-to soup that my entire family loves," adding: "They especially love the tortellini and the flavor of the Italian sausage." The soup is also fairly quick and easy to prepare, taking just half an hour from start to finish. Much of the time involves the soup simmering on its own, as well, so there's not much action needed from the cook other than keeping an eye on things.

While the soup is certainly quite hearty — a veritable one-pot meal complete with vegetables, greens, pasta, and meat — Murphy thinks of it as something that can be eaten year-round. In the wintertime, you could accompany it with a filling side of cheesy pasta or garlic bread, while you could go lighter with a simple green salad in the summer. You can also make up a big batch (it's easy to double) and freeze it in individual portions to microwave for a quick meal at any time.

Gather the ingredients for the spicy Italian sausage and spinach tortellini soup

The soup is made with a base of broth (chicken or vegetable, for preference) along with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and heavy cream. The add-ins include ground Italian sausage, tortellini, and spinach, while the soup is flavored with Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

Step 1: Brown the sausage

Add the sausage to a large soup pot and cook over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through.

Step 2: Add the tomatoes and seasonings

Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Let cook for an additional 2–3 minutes.

Step 3: Add the broth

Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer.

Step 4: Mix in the cream

Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream. Simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Step 5: Add the spinach and pasta

Stir in the tortellini and spinach. Cook until the pasta is tender and the spinach is wilted, about 5–7 minutes.

Step 6: Season the soup

Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste.

Step 7: Garnish and serve

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with Parmesan. Garnish with fresh microgreens and serve with bread, if desired.

What other vegetables can you use in place of spinach in this soup recipe?

One nice thing about a soup like this is that it can be customized to suit your preferences. Increase or decrease the seasonings as you prefer, swap out the cheese tortellini for spinach or meat-filled ones, or, as Murphy suggests, replace the spinach with a different green. Her recommendation for a spinach swap is the fairly similar kale which can be tough to eat in a salad but wilts quite nicely in a soup. You can also use frozen versions of these hardy greens as both kale and spinach do well in the freezer.

Of course, kale isn't the only possible substitute for spinach. There's a whole world of leafy greens out there that you should be cooking with, ranging from peppery mustard greens to budget-friendly cabbage, not to mention collard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, lettuce-adjacent produce, such as arugula or escarole, and even dandelion greens plucked right from your lawn (as long as they haven't been sprayed with pesticide). All you need to do is exchange the spinach one-for-one for your chosen greens and you're good to go.

What type of sausage works best in this soup?

Murphy says. "I recommend pork [sausage] for the flavor," but she leaves the choice up to you as to whether to use a spicy or mild variety. She also notes that you can swap out pork-based sausage for another type of meat if you prefer. Turkey or chicken sausage makes for a lower-fat alternative, plus the latter often comes in a variety of flavorful options. If you can only find the kind you like in link variety instead of loose meat, that shouldn't present a problem. Simply cut off the casings, and voilà — ground sausage meat. Yet another alternative is to leave the sausage links whole while they cook, then slice them into coin shapes before you dish up the soup.

If you'd like to make a vegetarian version of the soup, you can always use a plant-based sausage substitute or even omit the sausage entirely. To veganize it, however, you'll also need to leave out the Parmesan (nutritional yeast makes a great non-dairy substitute) and find a non-cheesy pasta to replace the tortellini.

Spicy Italian Sausage And Spinach Tortellini Soup Recipe
4.7 from 10 ratings
This one-pot soup recipe is a quick and simple weeknight meal, combining Italian sausage, pre-made tortellini, and spinach in a creamy, spicy broth.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
4
servings
orange soup in black bowl
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (9-ounce) package cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan, or to taste
Optional Ingredients
  • Microgreens, for garnish
  • Bread, for serving
Directions
  1. Add the sausage to a large soup pot and cook over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Let cook for an additional 2–3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream. Simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  5. Stir in the tortellini and spinach. Cook until the pasta is tender and the spinach is wilted, about 5–7 minutes.
  6. Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with Parmesan. Garnish with fresh microgreens and serve with bread, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 834
Total Fat 58.8 g
Saturated Fat 28.6 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 184.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 43.1 g
Dietary Fiber 4.5 g
Total Sugars 7.5 g
Sodium 1,411.8 mg
Protein 34.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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