warm me up before you go-go: sausage & tortellini soup with garlic and thyme focaccia

>> Thursday, February 11, 2010

i've been going stir crazy with all this snow lately. the one bonus of being stuck inside is that i have more time to cook delicious things. after our second round of snowfall yesterday, the whole family was in the mood for something warm and comforting. i whipped up a pot of sausage and tortellini soup with fresh garlic thyme focaccia to serve alongside. we make this soup a lot at cotton top because it has a little bit of something for everyone.  the boys love the heartiness of the sausage and pasta while the gals love the healthiness of the added spinach and cannellini beans.  the recipe for the bread does take some work.  but if you can handle it foodies, i'm telling you, it's definitely worth it.

adapted from bon appetit 
14 oz. kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1.5 tablespoons fresh thyme
10 cups low sodium chicken stock
15 oz. cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed & drained
9 oz. package fresh cheese tortellini
parmesan cheese to garnish

heat evoo in large pot over medium high heat.  add sausage, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme. cook until onion becomes translucent and kielbasa has browned - about 12 minutes. add broth and bring to a boil.  reduce heat and stir in beans and spinach.  cook for about 5 minutes. add tortellini to soup and cook for another 5 minutes.  ladle into individual bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese before eating.

**please note - this soup isn't ideal for leftovers. as the soup sits overnight, the tortellini absorbs the broth and swell up. eventually, you'll end up with no broth and plump, soggy tortellini. if you anticipate having leftovers, only cook the amount you plan to eat.**


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