I have been making this meatball tortellini soup for a long time. It’s one of the first recipes I added to my arsenal waaaay baaaack when I was a single women living on my own in a one-bedroom apartment. Every so often, when my boys are running wild through the house, I miss that quiet little apartment.
I’m sure you parents can relate, kids consume most of your life. In our chaotic little world, there isn’t a whole lot of time or energy left over for things like a social life. My best friend and I have known each other since kindergarten. We live less than 10 minutes from each other. However, with five kids between us, we communicate mostly by text message. When we do get together for a glorious kid-free hour or two over drinks and a decadent dessert, it never seems like it has been months since we’ve seen each other. No doubt that’s why our friendship spans three decades.
This soup is like a lot like that relationship. Though we’ve been acquainted for awhile, I might go months without making it. Then as I’m flipping through my recipe book, I will rediscover the recipe and wonder why I went so long between visits.
The broth has that tomato-basil quality, while the veggies give it a fresh quality I sometimes miss when it’s the dead of winter and everything in my garden is long past dead. The sausage meatballs and tender tortellini make it a filling and slurp-worthy dish.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 (16 oz.) package roll pork sausage
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs and garlic
- ¾ cup chopped carrots
- ¾ cup chopped yellow squash
- ¾ cup chopped zucchini
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, optional
- 1 (10 oz) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- Heat vegetable oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.
- Form sausage into ½-inch meatballs. Add meatballs to the pot. You may have to work in batches so you don’t overcrowd. Cook meatballs until they are browned on all sides and no longer pink in the center, about 7-10 minutes. Remove meatballs from the pot and set aside. Drain any grease from the pot.
- In the same pot, add the broth, fennel seeds, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and carrots. Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add squash, zucchini, basil, and tortellini. Bring pot to a boil over medium high heat and cook until tortellini is tender, about six minutes. Add meatballs and heat through.
- Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.