Tortellini Sausage Soup

Original Recipe HERE

Husband and I thought this soup was really good.  The kids liked the pasta aspect but could pretty much take or leave the rest of it.

There's really no need to use tortellini other than personal preference and wanting the soup to be a bit heartier.  Next time I'll just cook up something small, like orzo or ditalini, on the side and ladle the soup over it in individual bowls.  Also, I think pre-cooked smoked sausage or kielbasa would streamline the recipe as well and not detract from the flavor.

3 links Italian sausage [uncooked]
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 onion
½ cup water
2 15-oz cans chicken broth
½ cup apple cider
1 16-oz can diced tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup sliced carrots [I used baby carrots]
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons dried parsley [optional]
8-10 oz. package refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini
grated parmesan cheese, to taste [optional]

(1) If using link sausage, remove casings and crumble into a large soup pot.  Turn heat to medium.
(2) Dice onion; add to pot. Continue cooking until onions are translucent and sausage is cooked through.
(3) Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, juice, water, chicken broth, carrots, oregano, and basil. Cover; simmer for 30 minutes.
(4) While soup is cooking, grate zucchini and put in collander to drain.  After 20 minutes, squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
(5) Add parsley and zucchini to soup; simmer for 15 minutes. Add tortellini and cook 6 minutes or until tender.  Garnish with parmesan if desired.

Kid Participation: None.  I'd say maybe squeezing the zucchini, but that would probably lead to a large clean-up effort that would fall to the parents.

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