Chunky, hearty and comforting, this soup uses convenient packages of fresh pasta.
Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Servings: 8 - 10
- 1 pound bulk sweet italian sausage
- 2/3 cup fine plain bread crumbs
- Pinch plus 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups (2 quarts) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- Two 9-ounce packages fresh four-cheese tortellini or cheese ravioli
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning blend
- 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
- 2 roasted red peppers (from a jar), drained and chopped
- Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 or 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
- 6 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
Combine the sausage and bread crumbs in a large bowl and add the pinches of salt and pepper; mix well. Use clean, damp hands to form meatballs about 3/4 inch in diameter.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the broth, water, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper to taste. Once the liquid begins to bubble at the edges, add the meatballs and cook for 6 minutes, adjusting the heat so the liquid barely bubbles. Add the pasta and Italian seasoning blend; cook for 4 minutes, then add the basil, roasted red peppers and lemon juice; cook for about 3 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
Gently stir in the spinach and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for about 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted but still bright green. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Ladle into individual bowls (preferably warmed ones); serve hot.
From "Mr. Sunday's Soups," by Lorraine Wallace with Brigit Binns (Wiley, 2011).
Tested by Lorraine Wallace and Bonnie S. Benwick.
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