This is one of the best soups I have ever had. I've made it twice now. I plan to make this often once cool weather gets here. Soups are great to make ahead and keep in the freezer. The first time I followed the recipe with minor substitions (marked in red). The second time I decided to use turkey sausage and added frozen corn in with the other veggies. The turkey sausage, although healthier, I didn't care for the taste as much.
1 (3.5 ounce) link sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef stock
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped (I used a can of crushed tomatoes)
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup tomato sauce (I used leftover spaghetti sauce)
1 zucchini, chopped
8 ounces cheese tortellini
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Place the sausage in a large pot over medium high heat and saute for 10 minutes, or until well browned. Drain the fat except for about 1 tablespoon, add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 more minutes.
Next add the beef stock, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any fat that may surface.
Add the zucchini, tortellini, green bell pepper and parsley to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until tortellini is fully cooked. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with the cheese.