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Slow Cooker Creamy Sausage

Comfort in Every Spoon: Slow Cooker Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Are you craving a hearty and comforting meal that’s both easy to make and incredibly satisfying? Look no further than our Slow Cooker Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup! Bursting with flavor from Italian sausage, tender vegetables, cheesy tortellini, and a creamy broth, this soup is the epitome of comfort food. Plus, it’s conveniently prepared in a slow cooker, allowing you to enjoy a delicious homemade meal with minimal effort. Join us as we explore the ins and outs of this delightful recipe, including variations, keto-friendly adaptations, and answers to your most pressing questions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups carrots, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups celery, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine (optional, can substitute chicken broth)
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 20 oz. cheese tortellini, refrigerated or frozen
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

Instructions:

  1. Brown the Sausage: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the Italian sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Transfer the cooked sausage to the slow cooker.
  2. Add Aromatics and Vegetables: To the slow cooker, add diced onion, minced garlic, sliced carrots, chopped celery, chicken broth, white wine (if using), dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook Slow and Low: Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the vegetables are tender and flavors have melded together.
  4. Add Tortellini and Cream Cheese: About 30 minutes before serving, add the cheese tortellini and cubed cream cheese to the slow cooker. Stir gently to combine, then cover and continue cooking until the tortellini is cooked through and the cream cheese has melted into the soup.
  5. Stir in Spinach and Cream: Just before serving, stir in the chopped spinach leaves and heavy cream or half-and-half. Let the spinach wilt slightly and the soup heat through.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the creamy sausage and tortellini soup into bowls and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the Italian sausage and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian version of this soup. You can also add extra vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms for added flavor and texture.
  • Spice It Up: If you like a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the soup for a spicy kick.
  • Customize the Tortellini: Feel free to use your favorite variety of tortellini in this recipe. Spinach and cheese-filled tortellini work particularly well, but you can also try mushroom, sausage, or three-cheese tortellini for a different flavor profile.
  • Make It Creamier: For an even richer and creamier soup, stir in a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt just before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I freeze this soup? A: Yes, this soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely before transferring to airtight containers or freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Q: Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh? A: Yes, frozen spinach can be used as a convenient alternative to fresh spinach. Simply thaw the spinach and squeeze out any excess moisture before adding it to the soup.

Q: Can I substitute the heavy cream with milk? A: While heavy cream provides a rich and luxurious texture to the soup, you can use milk as a lighter alternative. Keep in mind that the soup may be less creamy with milk compared to heavy cream.

Q: Is this soup keto-friendly? A: While this soup contains some ingredients that are not typically included in a ketogenic diet, such as tortellini and carrots, you can make a keto-friendly version by omitting these ingredients and using low-carb alternatives such as cauliflower florets and additional vegetables.

Keto Version and Low-Carb Adaptation:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s a modified version of the recipe:

Keto Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup:

  • Replace Tortellini: Instead of cheese tortellini, use cauliflower florets or zucchini noodles as a low-carb alternative.
  • Use Heavy Cream: Stick to heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk for a keto-friendly option.
  • Limit Carrots: Reduce the amount of carrots or omit them altogether to lower the carb content of the soup.

With its creamy texture, savory sausage, tender tortellini, and vibrant vegetables, Slow Cooker Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup is a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for chilly days and cozy evenings. Whether you’re feeding a crowd or enjoying a quiet night in, this soup is sure to warm your heart and nourish your soul. So dust off your slow cooker, gather your ingredients, and get ready to savor every spoonful of this delicious homemade creation!

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