This soup is so flavorful and it only takes a few minutes to prep for the slow cooker!
I made this as part of a Casual Italian Buffet. It is a great choice because you can fix it well ahead in just a few minutes. You can make with many canned ingredients you may have in your pantry at any time such as – canned tomatoes, canned cannelini beans, chicken and beef broth. You know those double packs of Olivieri tortellini? They have quite a long Best Before date usually so I tend to have a pack in my fridge. I also freeze them and just pull them out as needed. That’s me… Queen of the Freezer!
I actually used a combination of 2 cups each of my homemade Chicken Bone Broth and Veal Stock ‘cuz if you follow any of my recipes you know I love to keep frozen stocks in my freezer too! Then I made up the rest with 4 cups of store bought chicken stock. Just use the best quality stock you can get a hold of!
For the sausage you could use hot Italian sausage if you like a bit of heat. My husband doesn’t so I have to keep things tame around here.
And… in the vein of full disclosure – I had 2 cups of roasted roma tomatoes in my freezer too so I dumped them in. That would be optional!
For the tortellini I used chicken and bacon flavor but you could use any flavor you like. I think Spinach or Three Cheese would be really good too.
Preparation is very versatile as well. I made it for an Italian buffet lunch so I was happy to take the ‘fix it and forget it’ approach. I dumped all the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it go for 3 hours on high. You could do 4 hours or so on low. I haven’t tried the whole day – I would be afraid the tortellini would get too soft in a 7 or 8 hour stint. What I really loved about the slow cooker approach was that you can keep it piping hot and people can help themselves to seconds or thirds…you get the picture!
If you want to make it on the stove top, brown the sausage, onion and garlic in a dutch oven and then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring it to a boil and then reduce and let it simmer about 20-30 minutes.
This soup is so substantial you only need a small serving as an appetizer. Add a little bread and it could be a meal too. I served it in a buffet with my No Knead Rosemary Garlic Bread and these Olive Garden Copy Cat Bread Rolls.
This one is definitely a keeper!