I got this recipe from Cameron who got it from epicurious.com. It’s one of our favorite cold-weather soups. I’ve done several versions of this, and actually like it better without the beans. Sometimes, I use orzo or leftover boiled white rice if I don’t have tortellini available. Because I usually make my own chicken stock, I end up cooking this soup as soon as I’ve removed all the impurities that float to the top.
1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini
1 packaged fully-cooked smoked kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced
1 15-ounce can cannellini, or white kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 bunch kale, thoroughly washed, roughly chopped
1 medium-sized fresh fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
10 cups chicken stock
1 cup Asiago cheese or Parmesan cheese, shaved
salt, pepper, olive oil
1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. SautÃ© garlic until golden, onions until translucent, fennel until soft and kielbasa is brown, about 12 minutes.
2. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in thyme, kale and cannellini. Reduce heat to low and simmer until kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add tortellini to soup. Simmer until pasta is just tender but still firm to bite, about 5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve and let your guests top it with cheese.