The Queen of Stoup
A couple weeks ago, whilst meandering through the Seventh Circle of Hell, aka the local grocery store, I picked up a bag of dried, three-cheese-filled tortelloni (that spelling looks wrong, but I'm reading it directly from the bag). I had no idea what I'd do with it...it just looked...interesting...so I snagged it for the pantry.
Up until a few years ago, I wasn't really a soup lover. Oh, the occasional chili or vegetable soup or oyster stew was fine. But soup's just never been my idea of a meal, ya know? I'm more a meat & taters kinda gal. Obviously. heh
But my tastes have changed a bit. Now I like soup. I like thick soup...hence stoup. Well, I like the idea of soup. See, with soup, unlike a lotta recipes, you definitely have room to...
And I'm the mistress of experimentation.
Since I can't eat much more than soup right now anyway, I decided I'd make a nice pot of vegetable stoup this week. And throw the (misspelled) tortelloni in.
Tortelloni is Italian. Why not do a little...experimenting...and make an Italian-type stoup rather than the plain ole veggie?
Hmmmm...what's in Pammy's pantry/fridge that could be classified as "Italian"? Tomatoes? Obviously. Garlic? Most definitely. Basil. Zucchini. Mushrooms. Italian sausage. Check, check, check. Uh..and check. Fresh spinach? Well, not necessarily Italian, but I had some on hand that needed used up.
I give you....
Mama Mia! Italian Stoup...ala Pammy
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, browned (I used the loose sausage, but I bet the links, browned and sliced, would be good, too.)
1 8 oz. bag dried, cheese-filled tortelloni (or fresh)
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper (slightly wrinkled), chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
1 sm. can mushrooms, sliced or chopped
A couple large handfuls of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 28 oz. can Red Gold (or your brand of choice) crushed tomatoes
1 sm. can low-sodium beef broth
2-4 C water (add more or less depending on how thick you want it)
Dash of red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 1/2 T crushed, fresh garlic
1 t dried basil or 2-3 T fresh, chopped basil
Pinch or two of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the Italian sausage. When it's almost done, throw in the onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and basil. Saute until the onions are translucent.
Add the tomatoes, beef broth, mushrooms and water. Let it hang out at a simmer for an hour or so.
Bring it up to a boil and add the tortelloni. If it looks like it needs a little more water, now's the time to add it.
When the pasta is almost done, throw in the zucchini and the spinach, turn it back down to a simmer and cook until the zucchini is just tender.
Shut it off and just let it hang for an hour or so for the flavors to meld. As with most stoup, it gets better with every reheating.
When you're ready to serve, turn it back on to get hot and top with some freshly grated parm reggiano and serve it up with some nice, crusty bread.
Yummy! I can't think of a thing that it needed. It woulda been nice if I coulda got my mouth open enough to get a big bite...but I managed.
As with most of my recipes...and especially with stoup...I "guesstimate" the amounts of most of the ingredients...and I usually use ingredients that I already have on hand. So feel free to tweak to suit your own taste.