This soup never fails to deliver inspiration. Revitalization. Food for my soul. My husband discovered it when our first daughter was born. I nearly died, and he made batch after batch to bring me back to life. I think it’s the fresh fennel that does it for me – especially back then when I WAS a food source for a hungry baby. Fennel adds a fresh and mysterious yet warm and familiar note to this filling soup. This is the soup Olivia makes in LUSCIOUS when she gets her groove back, right before she busts out a batch of Pumpkin Creme Brulee…
2 Tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces cooked sausage
2 medium onions, small diced
5 carrots, small diced
1 four-inch fresh fennel bulb, thinly sliced then chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 cups chopped fresh kale, escarole, Swiss chard or other green
1 15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 9 ounce package frozen cheese tortellini
Parmesan or Asiago cheese for garnish
- Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and fennel. Cook until limp and translucent.
- Add garlic. Saute one minute, until it smells heavenly.
- Add broth and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender.
- Meanwhile, cook tortellini separately, so they don’t suck all the broth out of your soup.
- When pasta is drained and the vegetables are tender, stir in white beans, cooked sausage, and greens. Simmer until greens wilt.
- Put 6-8 tortellini in each soup bowl then add soup. Serve with grated cheese and crusty bread. And butter…lots of butter.
* If you want to make this soup a day ahead, do not add the tortellini until you plan to serve it.