So often we are faced with the issue of “What’s For Dinner”. There are different types of cooking styles, some people plan all of their meals for the week and shop accordingly, while others whip up something from what they have in the cupboards. I personally am the later, taking a good look at every bit of food we have I am able to come up with some sort of idea of what might be delicious. I am also one of those people who can cook an impromptu meal completely from my head, no recipe necessary. (Baking of course is different, but that can be fun too!) My most recent creation was Sausage White Bean Soup with Tortellini in a Crock Pot — yum!
Last week I looked in my refrigerator and saw a package of italian sausage that needed to be cooked before it became garbage, so I looked in the freezer to find a large bag of frozen tortellini. Those things sounded just delicious together so I looked in the cupboard to find chicken stock, white beans, and canned spinach. My trusty friend the Crock Pot served me well in this situation so that a soup could be born!
First I removed the sausage from the casings and tossed it in a frying pan to get cooking. It ended up being probably 6 sausage links so it was a large pan of ground sausage! At the same time I plugged in the Crock Pot and turned it to low, I tossed in the chicken stock, a can of water, and the tortellini. Once the sausage was cooked I strained it away from the grease as best I could and added it into the crock pot with the other ingredients.
I love using the drippings/fat left behind in a pan for another layer of flavor in a dish. This time I cooked the onion and garlic down in the sausage drippings, and mixed in flour to make a roux, then added white wine to thin it out. I drained 2 cans of spinach very well and added those to the mixture, brought it to a boil, and reduced it to a simmer to cook some of the liquid out.
With a little seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, garlic salt, italian seasonings, etc) this mixture starts smelling delicious, and is ready to add to the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Once everything is added together, give it a good mix and let it cook for 1-2 hours on high.
This dish is delicious with a side of crusty bread, and topped with a little parmesan cheese! Enjoy!
RECIPE | SAUSAGE WHITE BEAN SOUP WITH TORTELLINI
- 2 1/2 cups Cheese Tortellini
- 1 can Chicken Stock
- 6 Italian Sausage Links (removed from casings)
- 1/4 cup White Onion
- 1 Tbs. minced Garlic
- 2-3 tsp. flour (depending on amount of fat in pan)
- 2 cans Spinach
- 1/2 cup White Wine
- Seasonings to taste (Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Salt)
Combine first two ingredients in a Crock Pot along with 1 can of water. Cook ground sausage and transfer to Crock Pot, leaving the drippings and grease in the pan. Cook onion and garlic in the pan with sausage drippings on medium heat until onions are translucent. Add flour to the liquid in the pan, mixing well with a fork (if there is not much liquid melt a tablespoon of butter in pan and add flour to that). Mix roux into onion & garlic, then add white wine and stir. Add drained spinach and seasonings, bring to a boil and drop to a simmer to reduce liquid almost completely. Add that mixture to the ingredients in the Crock Pot and mix well. Cook on High for 1-2 hours. Serve hot with parmesan cheese and optional side of bread for dipping!
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