My hubby’s words: “This soup is outrageously yummy!”


Servings: 6-8
– 1 lb. Italian sausage, casing removed
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 ½ cups carrots, sliced
– 1 ½ cups celery, chopped
– 4 cups chicken broth
– ½ cup white wine (optional, can substitute chicken broth)
– 1 tsp. dried basil
– 1 tsp. dried oregano
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 20 oz. cheese tortellini, refrigerated or frozen
– 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
– 3 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped
– 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the Italian sausage, breaking it into crumbles with a wooden spoon. Once cooked, transfer the sausage to the slow cooker using a slotted spoon to leave behind any excess fat.
2. In the same skillet, sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute before transferring to the slow cooker.
3. To the slow cooker, add sliced carrots, chopped celery, chicken broth, white wine (if using), basil, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.
4. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the tortellini and cubes of cream cheese, stirring gently to incorporate.
5. Just before serving, stir in the spinach and pour in the heavy cream, allowing the heat to wilt the spinach and meld the flavors.
6. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed and serve warm, garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Variations & Tips:
– To cater to various tastes, consider substituting the Italian sausage with turkey or chicken sausage for a lighter version.
– Vegetarians at the table? Omit the sausage and use vegetable broth; consider adding mushrooms or bell peppers to heighten the umami.
– For a bit of an acidic kick, a touch of sundried tomatoes can be added when the tortellini goes in.
– If you find yourself without a slow cooker, this recipe can be adapted for stovetop cooking—simply use a large pot and simmer the base of the soup, covered, for about an hour before proceeding with the addition of tortellini and cream cheese.
– As with any good soup, this one too deepens in flavor the next day; leftovers are to be celebrated and never wasted.

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