I am a /huge/ fan of the slow-cooker. It helps with the crazy routine of the day and allows me prepare a meal when there are a few moments of calm.
If you are looking for a tasty, winter, soup filled with the aroma and comfort of Italian food give this meal a try! Put it all together when the baby is taking a morning nap, the preschooler is creating a masterpiece on paper, or the kids are off to school. If you work outside of the home put the dish together the night before and then plop it in your slow-cooker on the way out the door in the morning. What a wonderful thing to come home to!
Italian Tortellini Soup
1 lb. Italian sausage (not in casing)
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cups beef broth
½ cup water
½ cup dry red wine
1- 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup thinly sliced carrots (I ran three peeled carrots through the food processor)
½ teaspoon basil leaves
½ teaspoon oregano leaves
½ teaspoon parsley
1 medium green or red pepper, chopped
8 oz (2 cups) frozen or refrigerated cheese tortellini
Grated Parmesan cheese
Brown the Italian Sausage on the range and then scoop into slow-cooker leaving any drippings in your pan. If there is less than a tablespoon of drippings add a little olive- or vegetable-oil. Next saute onions and garlic in drippings until onions are tender and see-through.
Add sauteed onions, beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, parsley, tomato sauce, green or red pepper and browned-sausage to slow-cooker. Cook on low for about 4 hours. (Beauty of slow cookers is it doesn’t have to be an exact amount. Your meat is already cooked so the longer you cook the longer the flavor mixes, the longer your kitchen smells like a little slice of heaven.)
Add the frozen or refrigerated tortellini for the last 30 to 40 minutes.
Spoon into bowls and top with Parmesan Cheese.
Serve with crusty bread.