Garlic Meatball Tortellini Soup

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ingredients

  • 8 ounce mild or spicy Italian sausage, uncooked
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 ½ tablespoon Mezzetta Savory Garlic Everything Spread
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil to coat soup pot
  • ½ large onion, small diced
  • 2 stalks celery, small diced
  • 2 medium carrots, small diced
  • 2 (32 ounces) boxes chicken broth
  • 5 leaves kale, stems removed and thinly sliced (see chefs note below)
  • 9 ounce tortellini
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional- Deli-Sliced Mezzetta Hot Cherry Peppers, diced and sprinkled on soup for a spicy kick

preparation

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sausage, egg, Mezzetta Savory Garlic Everything Spread and panko and mix by hand until just incorporated.  Roll into small, bite-sized meatballs (makes about 25 meatballs).

In a large dutch oven soup pot, add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Heat pan on medium high until oil is starting to smoke.  Add the meatballs to the pot and brown on all sides for about 7 minutes.  Remove meatballs with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Pour out excess grease from meatballs and add onion, celery and carrots.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften.  Add the chicken broth, meatballs, and kale to the pot; bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the tortellini and cook an additional few minutes per the package instructions.  Soup is ready when meatballs are cooked through and tortellini is tender.

Chefs note:  Feel free to substitute fresh baby spinach for kale.  Just stir the spinach into the soup just after tortellini cooks.