Crockpot Tortellini Soup

I love my crockpot / slow cooker! These babies sure come in handy and this recipe is my take on crockpot tortellini soup.

This isn’t a difficult recipe but I had my mishaps with it. Pureeing this in my blender was a lot of fun. (insert sarcasm here) Apparently I didn’t lock the lid or push it down far enough on my blender and it blew off along with a good portion of soup that splattered all over the wall and countertop. I wasn’t laughing at the time when it happened, but like all little mishaps in life, they become funnier the further away they get.

After all was said and done I had one bowl left. Left-overs don’t last long at my house. I thought I’d have some for the next day but my son got up in the middle of the night and inhaled it. His dad wasn’t very happy since I was saving that last bowl for him. You snooze, you lose.

This recipe was taste-tested by my crew (my family and neighbors) and it got a thumbs up so I’m sharing it with you.

Just a little helpful hint: You’re missing out on adding some yummy depth to your soups if you’re not saving those Parmesan or Romano cheese rinds.  They freeze well.  We just toss ours in a Ziplock® bag and into the freezer till we need them.

crockpot tortellini soup

Tortellini Soup in a Crockpot

Ingredients

  • 32 oz of vegetable broth (we used Swanson certified Organic)
  • 2 7 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes (we used Hunts)
  • 2 7 oz cans of chopped tomatoes with garlic (we used Hunts)
  • A couple of Parmesan cheese rinds, optional (removed after cooking)
  • 2 large fresh bay leaves (will be removed after cooking)
  • ¾ cup fresh basil roughly cut
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme (or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 ½ cups diced carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed then chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • A pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1 pound package of cheese-filled tortellini (we used Buitoni 3 cheese Tortellini)
  • 16 oz of mild Italian sausage ( we used Johnsonville)
  • 4-8 ounces baby spinach or fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped (or frozen may be used if fresh is not available)

Instructions

  • In a four quart slow cooker (or larger), place broth (save a 1/4 cup), tomatoes, cheese rinds, cream cheese, bay leaf, basil and thyme. Turn your slow cooker on, set the timer on high for four hours or low for six hours. Cover the slow cooker / crockpot to heat these ingredients up.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and carrots and cook for three to four minutes until almost soft. Add garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and pepper flakes---cook for one more minute. Add tomato paste and cook for about two minutes (be careful not to burn it.) Use a 1/4 cup of vegetable stock to deglaze the pan. Pour this mixture into slow cooker / crockpot along with the other ingredients and stir to blend. Cover again and allow to cook for four to six hours. Add the Italian sausage to your skillet and cook until it's no longer pink then put it aside for now.
  • With a half hour of cooking time left, remove cheese rinds and bay leaf and discard. If you have an immersion blender then puree mixture until very smooth. If not you can puree in your blender. It's a pain-in-the-butt but worth the effort. Add Romano cheese and cooked Italian sausage. Stir with a spoon to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking and continue cooking till time is up.
  • Turn the slow cooker to high (if it isn't already), then add frozen tortellini. Heat until they are fully cooked (about 10 minutes), then add spinach. Continue cooking just until spinach has wilted into the soup (a minute or two). If soup is too thick, dilute with more vegetable stock.
  • Top with rough grated Parmesan, garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve with garlic toast.
http://darndelish.com/crockpot-tortellini-soup/

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