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Tortellini Soup with Sausage

Crisp, cool weather calls for warm, hearty soups like this dish from Barb.

1 lb. mild Italian sausage (or 1 lb. ground pork mixed with 1 TB. ITALIAN SAUSAGE SEASONING)
1 Cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp. PENZEYS MINCED GARLIC rehydrated in 1/2 tsp. of water)
5 Cups beef broth (or 5 Cups water mixed with 2-3 tsp. BEEF SOUP BASE)
1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup dry red wine (or 1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar + 1/4 Cup water)
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 Cup thinly sliced carrots (2 medium carrots)
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 16-oz. pkg. tortellini (fresh or frozen)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
11/2 Cups sliced zucchini (1 medium)
1/4-1/2Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a stock pot, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes, breaking it up and turning it over a few times during cooking. Drain well, leaving 1/2 tsp. of drippings in the pot. Set the sausage aside. Reduce heat to medium, add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook until tender, 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, HERBS, tomato sauce and sausage. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Skim off any fat. Add the tortellini and bell pepper, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add zucchini and simmer another 20-30 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 11/2 hours or so
Serves: 12

Nutritional Information:
Servings 12; Serving Size 1 cup (309g); Calories 250; Calories from fat 100; Total fat 11g; Cholesterol 40mg; Sodium 720mg; Carbohydrate 25g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 5g; Protein 13g.

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