Welcome to my table! The favorite part of my day is gathering my people and making food that sustains them. When you come together, even for the simplest meals to chat, something special happens: food makes memories. I’m sure it says a lot about me that so many of my memories include food: I can sit down for a bowl of risotto and remember the last time I ate it, the people I was with, and what we talked about. I knew Joelle and I would be fast friends when we discovered our equal love for all things food.
It was one of those days that Joelle was newly pregnant and could barely eat a thing. Every winter, my mom and I spend a whole day making a few types of soup to fill our freezers and pass along to our friends and family. We were determined to find something the baby would like so I invited her to just come, sit, and enjoy the conversation as we chopped, sautéed, and chatted. Lo and behold, we did it! My carrot ginger soup was a hit and now her son is running around, swiping bread, and creating more memories as we gather to make soup again.
This particular recipe comes from another cherished memory of mine: when I was growing up, my mom would take me after school to our favorite town deli and they had the most delicious tomato and tortellini soup. The combination of cheese with the tomato soup creates a winning savory combination that is both comforting and filling. Now it’s time to gather your people and make some memories of your own! Pull up this recipe, collect the ingredients, and call up your friends, sisters, mother, grandmother, whomever, to gather and sip some tasty soup, but be warned: I know there’s a quote out there about soup feeding stomach and soul, but with this recipe you may find yourself saying “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” It’s that tasty.
Tomato Basil Soup with Italian Sausage & Tortellini
2 tbs olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage (mild or spicy, whichever you prefer)
1 onion, diced
2-4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
28 oz canned fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
4 tbs fresh diced basil
1 package cheese tortellini
3 cups spinach
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat soup pot over high heat. Add in 1 tbs of olive oil and brown sausage.
- Once sausage is browned, add in another tbs of olive oil and diced onion. Sauté until soft.
- Stir garlic into sausage and onion mixture for 1 minute.
- Add in tomatoes stirring to scrape up any sausage or onion that may be sticking to the bottom of the pan. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When broth reaches a boil, reduce and let simmer. Cover for 20-30 minutes.
- Stir in basil and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. NOTE: If you’re making this soup to freeze, now would be the best time to pause. Pour into a freezer container and when you’re ready, thaw and follow steps 6 and 7 to complete.
- Bring soup base back to a rolling boil and add in tortellini. Cook in soup base per package instructions (usually around 9-11 minutes).
- When tortellini is cooked through taste for salt or pepper, then fold in spinach till it is wilted and combined with soup. Serve with parmesan & black pepper crisp crostini and top with extra basil and cheese if desired. Enjoy!
Parmesan & Black Pepper Crostini
1 tbs olive oil
½ cup shredded parmesan
1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice bread in ½ inch slices.
- Brush sliced bread with olive oil.
- Top with parmesan cheese and then sprinkle with black pepper, followed by a little more cheese.
- Bake until cheese is golden brown.
by Brittany DeBoer Voss
Brittany DeBoer Voss is no new member to the Badala family. She is a regular contributor to the blog and has long been consulting on the home line. Amongst her responsibilities are regularly reminding Joelle to breathe. She earned her degree in Interior Architecture from Columbia College and is currently raising her littles just outside of Chicago. For more of her life, follow @b.voss on Instagram.