Creamy Tortellini, Sausage and Mushroom Soup

Winter’s a-coming and that means it’s soup and stew season. Gotta stay warm, especially when we’ve been having these unusually early El Niño-like windstorms lately. Here’s a great recipe to hunker down with. I found it on Pinterest and as usual, added my own little flair (i.e., meat).

I wasn’t sure what the blogger meant by “white sauce mix.” Normally, I’m averse to using prepackaged stuff in my cooking, but I thought I’d try it out and I used one dry packet of alfredo sauce mix. It turned out to be a delightful soup base and boosted the other flavors quite well.

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Creamy Tortellini Sausage and Mushroom Soup

Serves a whole bunch of people — like 12?

Ingredients:

1 packet of dry alfredo sauce mix

4 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1.5 cups crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

1/2 an onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. or so dried basil

1/2 teaspoon or so dried oregano

some sprinkles of cayenne powder

salt and pepper

one 8-oz package of dried tortellini

1/2 package of frozen spinach

4 Italian sausages

1 12-oz. can evaporated milk

Directions:

Combine the sauce mix, water and chicken stock in a large Crock Pot. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper and set Crock Pot to low for 4-5 hours.

Stir in the dried tortellini. Cook on low for another hour. Meanwhile, heat the frozen spinach in a small pan with water till it’s thawed. Strain and squeeze out the water. Set aside. Cook the sausage thoroughly and slice up.

Add the spinach and sausage and continue cooking till tortellini is al dente. Add the evaporated milk and cook till soup is hot again. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and crusty bread.

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