From-scratch soups are the gold standard, but for this Sausage Tortellini gem, I take huge shortcuts, and they work.
Sausage Tortellini soup is packed with filling protein. There are many versions of this soup floating around the internet but they are not blood sugar friendly. I tweaked the basic idea so that individual servings are easily adjusted for carbs, without sacrificing flavor or volume. As a result, no one at the table feels deprived.
The secret to this soup is a good quality, store-bought low sugar marinara sauce combined with high quality beef or chicken stock, resulting in deep flavor with zero fuss.
I stumbled on using store-bought marinara sauce as a soup ingredient years ago, when I was making a large batch of vegetable beef soup and realized I didn’t have enough tomato sauce. I gingerly subbed in some marinara, and was delighted with the result.
For this soup to be healthy comfort food, be choosy about the red sauce you buy, as a horrifying number of them are loaded with added sugars. I love the Rao’s Homemade brand; it is not a “special reduced carb product” but it has only 3 carbs per half cup – compared to the 8 or 10 carbs many sauces contain.
High- quality stock is another must and good unsalted/low salt versions now are readily available. I’ve been using the new Rachel Ray’s versions, which I snagged on sale. Obviously, homemade stock can be substituted.
Sausage Tortellini Soup
(4 to 5 generous main dish servings)
24 ounces low- sugar marinara (ex. Rao’s Homemade), or homemade
32 ounces good- quality, lower or no-sodium chicken or beef stock (add more stock if desired to increase volume of each serving with no extra carb cost)
A package of. Italian-flavored chicken or turkey sausage links, sliced thinly ( a pound of ground chicken or turkey sausage can be substituted)
About 2 cups fresh green beans as desired, cut into small pieces (the more added, the more filling the soup)
1/4 to 1/2 cup frozen corn (optional, will add just a few carbs per serving)
1 package cheese tortellini (I use frozen as it is cheaper; refrigerated is fine)
bay leaf, optional
1/2-1 teaspoon dried basil, to taste
pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1-2 teaspoons olive oil or garlic flavored olive oil, (optional but adds a silky texture)
1-2 tablespoons low fat half and half, to finish (optional)
- Steam green beans until barely tender, set aside
- Combine all ingredients, except tortellini and sausage, in large pot; bring to boil, Then reduce heat, add sausage ( and oil if using), then simmer for about 20 minutes or longer to blend flavors.
- While soup is simmering, cook tortellini in separate pot until barely done; drain.
- Just before serving soup, remove bay leaf and stir in low fat half and half.
- Ladle soup into bowls, being generous with the broth, green beans and sausage. For the carb- conscious, measure out 1/3 to 1/2 level cup of cooked tortellini and add to serving. For others, add generous portions of tortellini as desired.
Refrigerate leftovers, keeping tortellini separate; combine when reheating.