recipe: grandpa’s tortellini soup.

you know how sometimes you just need a good bowl of soup? and not that crappy canned stuff (although there is a place and time for that). you need real, homemade, hearty soup.

this soup is the soup that you need to make when you’re in that mood. bonus points: you can make this using just one pot for everything!

my grandpa bill, who passed away this past february, was a pretty amazing guy. he was a military captain and doctor, an anesthesiologist, a wonderful husband to my grandma, a father of eight, a grandfather of 24 (plus some spouses), and a great-grandfather of two. he was the kindest, gentlest man you’ll ever meet. in addition to all that, he was also a fabulous cook, and soup was something of his specialty.

last christmas, he gave each family member their own copy of a cookbook…his cookbook.

it’s full of his best soup recipes, along with recipes for the snacks he used to make for all the big family get-togethers (that we are pretty sure he put crack into, that’s how addictive they are).

well, i’ve been planning on working my way through this cookbook for some time, and now that summer is over, i think it’s high time to roll up my sleeves and get going. i’m not putting any sort of timeline on myself, i have too many of those at work, but i’m going to check off the recipes in grandpa’s book until i’m done. and i’m going to love it, because he would love it. (i’m totally going to cry into each and every pot of soup that i make, but that’s to be expected)

so without further ado, here is my first attempt at cooking my way through grandpa bill’s cookbook. cheers!

tortellini soup makes a large pot of soup, enough to serve 4-6 and freeze half

  • 1 lb. italian sausage (sweet or hot, we used 1.5 lbs. of hot)
  • 1 C. onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5 C. beef broth (can substitute chicken or veggie broth)
  • 1/2 C. water
  • 1/2 C. red wine (deep red)
  • 2 C. chopped, seeded tomatoes, about 4 (we used 1 can of diced tomatoes instead)
  • 1/2 tsp. basil (1 Tbsp. if using fresh basil)
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce (we used the stuff my mom and i canned last summer!)
  • 8-9 oz. tortellini, refrigerated or dried (we used refrigerated cheese tortellini)
  • 1 med. green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 C. zucchini, shredded
  • 3 T. parsley, chopped

brown the sausage and pour out most of the oil, reserving around 1 Tbsp. of the oil for sauteing the onions and garlic. saute onions and garlic in the reserved oil with the browned sausage until the onions are translucent.

add the beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, basil, oregano and tomato sauce and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

stir in the tortellini, green pepper, zucchini and parsley and simmer for an additional 30 minutes, covered.

because this makes a lot, you can freeze as much soup as you want and leave out only what you want to eat right away. it’s great to thaw out on a night where you want a good dinner but don’t feel like cooking!


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