Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Monday, January 15, 2007
Hearty Pasta Tomato Soup
Several people have asked for this recipe, so here it is. The original recipe is from Quick Cooking, Sept/Oct. 2001 issue. I've made several changes in the recipe to suit my cooking style and our own preferences.
HEARTY PASTA TOMATO SOUP
6 cups beef broth 28 ounces stewed tomatoes 15-16 ounces tomato sauce 2 cups sliced zucchini (I used the frozen zucchini-squash blend) 1 large onion, chopped 1 cup sliced carrots (I used baby carrots) 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 1 medium green pepper, chopped 1 lb. Italian link sausage, sliced about 1/2 inch thick with scissors 2 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. basil 1 garlic clove, minced Pasta of your choice, OR 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Place all ingredients except the last two in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 4 to 5 hours until the vegetables are tender and the sausage slices are cooked and tender.
At this point, add pasta to your taste and continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes or until pasta is cooked. I used orzo, so only had to wait about 15 minutes. Rotini or elbows would probably take 20 minutes or so. If you choose to use the tortellini, you need to cook it first, then stir into the soup and cook for about 30 minutes or so.
Yield: 10-12 servings
I’ve had this on my menus for weeks and weeks -- had all the ingredients, just never got around to making it. When I finally did, I realized WHY I’d been putting it off. It called for bulk Italian sausage, and for browning it first. I just don’t have time for that sort of thing on Sunday morning! Since what I had was link sausage, I decided to try slicing it up and putting it in with all the other ingredients uncooked. It worked perfectly! This might be problematic if your sausage was very high in fat (might make the soup greasy), but mine was a lower fat kind and so it was fine. Turkey Italian sausage would probably work even better.
Also, much as we like tortellini, I didn’t want to take time to cook it. I just stirred in a half cup of orzo when we got home from church, and it came out well. Tonight, for the leftovers, I am going to cook some tortellini and add that.
We loved this soup. It was extremely good, and indeed very hearty. We liked it so much that -- now that I’ve figured out this easier way to make it -- we’ll be having this soup much more often!
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.