Simple Recipes that Mom Made

Tortellini and Italian Sausage Soup

Ingredients

1 pound bulk mild or hot Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
64 ounces chicken broth
1 9-ounce package refrigerated fresh cheese tortellini
5 ounces baby spinach
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven, cook sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is thoroughly cooked. Drain. 
2. Stir in broth, bay leaf and tomatoes; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Add tortellini; reduce heat to low and cook 8 to 12 minutes or until tortellini are tender. 
4. Stir in spinach and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. 
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Easy Tomato Soup

Ingredients

3 pounds Roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered
1 yellow onion, halved and quartered
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons thyme
2 bay leaves
Parsley for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
2. Spread tomatoes and onion in 1 layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over tomato mixture and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven on middle rack and roast for 30 minutes. 
3. Check tomato mixture; if it is tender, roast about 15 more minutes. 
4. In a large stockpot, bring chicken broth, bay leaves and thyme to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. 
5. Put half the tomato mixture into a blender. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend until smooth. Pour pureed tomato mixture into the stockpot with the chicken broth. Puree remaining half of tomato mixture and add to chicken stock mixture, mixing well. Simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Note: I always like to add just a little half-and-half to round out the flavor. This is great to eat the next day, or you can store it in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. When reheating, I like to add angel hair pasta broken in pieces or already cooked tortellini.

 

Mama’s Chicken Soup 

My mother always had this soup on hand in our fridge or freezer growing up. 

Ingredients

 3 pounds chicken quarters (or chicken breasts) 
4 carrots, sliced  
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped large size
1/2 cup dill, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (optional)
Water to cover

Directions

1. Put the chicken, carrots, celery and onion in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Heat and simmer, uncovered until the chicken meat falls off of the bones (skim off foam every so often).
2. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot. Pick the meat off the bones. 
3. Season the broth with salt, pepper, dill, parsley and chicken bouillon to taste, if desired. 
4. Return the chicken to the pot, stir together and serve.

Note: I like to make a big batch and freeze half of it. When I reheat the soup, I like to add par-cooked broccoli or pasta noodles to change it up.