One of the things I love about this soup is you can make it as easy or complicated as you'd like. You can use homemade broth, lots of veggies and spices, and let it simmer all day. Using mostly pre-packaged ingredients, I had a comforting meal in about 20 minutes.
2 packages tortellini (any kind: cheese, spinach, ricotta etc.)
2 large boxes broth (I use Swanson's Natural Goodness)
1 to 2 lbs. Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
1 14.5 oz. can tomatoes (I prefer them fire-roasted with garlic)
1 can cannellini beans (or great northern or navy beans), rinsed
2 carrots, sliced
Fresh spinach (or escarole)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a separate pot, bring water to boil for tortellini. Don't cook the pasta in the soup; it gets too mushy and "steals" too much of the broth.
Meanwhile, cook the sausage according to instructions in a pan, and then drain and cut them into bite-size pieces.
In a large pot, combine broth, sausages, tomatoes, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
Add salt, pepper, oregano, or any seasoning of your choice. (Note:
When using sausage, I find I don't need any additional flavor. The broth, tomatoes, and meat are enough).
When the water in your other pot boils, add tortellini and cook according to the package directions. Shorten the cooking time by a minute or two to avoid mushiness. Drain tortellini.
Just before serving, add tortellini, beans, and spinach to the soup pot.
Serve with crusty bread, fresh apples, and cheese.