Thursday, October 27, 2011

Low Carb (and Healthy) "Tortellini" Soup

As promised, here is the recipe for Tortellini Soup I made last week. I divided the soup and made part low carb and the other part as usual for my kids. It was awesome! You will love this. (Note: this soup is not Medifast friendly, but IS low carb and very good for you!) I've had this recipe card in my file for years and have no idea who gave it to me. The low carb tweak is my own.

1.5 lbs lean Italian turkey sausage (I used Foster Farms, 7 links, casings removed. I like to use part mild and part hot, so 2 of the links were hot for my soup. You can just use mild and add red pepper flakes to taste if you prefer).
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium beef broth or stock
6 ounces of dry red wine
6 cups water
1 large carrot, diced
15 ounces of tomato sauce (watch the carbs, I used Contadina brand)
4 cups of diced canned tomatoes and their juice (again, watch the carbs, mine had 4g carbs per serving). You can used stewed if you prefer. I used the kind that has Italian seasoning in it.
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil

1 Tbsp dried parsley
3 cups zucchini, diced
optional additions:
3 cups chopped raw cauliflower, or
3 cups frozen cheese-filled tortellini

In a large soup pot, brown the turkey sausage. When it is about halfway done, drain off the fat and add the onion and garlic and continue cooking until the meat is browned. Then add the broth, red wine, water, carrot, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and herbs. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes.

Add zucchini and cauliflower (if using) and cook for 20 more minutes. I like to divide the soup after I add the zucchini, and put cauliflower in my portion and continue cooking both pots. If you do this, reduce the amount of cauliflower (the 3 cups is the amount for an entire pot of soup).

After 20 minutes, add tortellini if you are using that. I add it to the family's pot but not mine. Cook as long as the tortellini package indicates; mine took about five minutes. Note: I used frozen tortellini. If you use dried tortellini, use less (maybe 1.5-2 cups) and it will take longer to cook.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Both versions (with cauliflower, and with tortellini) and very tasty and reasonable in calories. Here are the pictures and stats.

Cauliflower version:

Stats for one cup of soup made with cauliflower:
92 calories
3.6 g fat
6 g carbs
7.3 g protein

Now, the tortellini version I served my family:

Stats for one cup of soup made with frozen tortellini:
123 calories
3.8 g fat
10.5 g carbs
8.5 g protein

What I love about this soup is that it tastes SO good and is also very versatile. You can add any vegetables you like, such as celery or cabbage. I sometimes add a couple handfuls of baby spinach right at the end. It doesn't really need to cook; it will wilt from the heat if you just throw it in. Very yummy. And it is an easy meal to make for the family. My kids like tortellini and I can still eat the same meal with them with a slight adjustment to make mine low carb. The cauliflower replaces the tortellini very nicely.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! May it warm and nourish you on a chilly fall night.


Morgenmuffel said...

Looks really yummy, I'll definitely try some of this or at least a variation due to what ingredients are available in Germany. *drools*

Anonymous said...

I wonder why kids need different food from their parents. Wouldn't portion size adjustments work?

lisa~sunshine said...

I eat different items than my kids.. due to me having diabetes before and needing to watch my types of carbs.. and how much along with sugars.. I don't feel I need to watch my childs diet as much although I don't let them go nuts..
So.. I'm sure she has her reasons for doing what she does..

I still think both ways look really yummy and honestly the macros for both ways.. are good too.. SO I think eating them either way and adjusting daily calories would be fine.. for those that went that route..

Lyn said...


in general, growing children and active young boys/men need more calories and fat than an overweight 40 year old woman does. Since I am low carbing, I often will make them some side carbs for energy, like wheat bread or whole grain pasta, or mashed potatoes. Also, I have children with specific medical issues who can't always eat exactly the way I eat.

Sarah from Onmyweightohappiness said...

That looks really nummy! Might have to give that whirl in our house, we are always looking for new things to add in our menu rotation!

Steelers6 said...

Wow, that looks great. I probably won't get to that recipe soon, but I'll come back and look for it under that handy dandy 'recipes' tab.
Thanks Lyn.

Mrs. Chupchake said...

Thanks for sharing the soup recipe Lyn. It looks like a good one and I will make it this fall.

Anonymous said...

Linda here--that soup looks delicious! By the way I disagree with all the negative statements about Medifast and how it is not sustainable. Being on plan 100% is intended to be temporary. I think you've done a fabulous job maintaining for so long and it's certainly not any sort of a failure that you would have to go back on Medifast from time to time after a month of unhealthy eating. Just take it in stride and do what you have to do to get the weight back off. You ARE maintaining--you caught your gain before it got out of hand and you're taking care of it. Seems to me that's the definition of maintenance. I'm getting a lot of inspiration from reading your posts. Like I said before, I've lost 17 lbs on MF and want to lose 47 more. I had a houseguest last week so I got a little derailed, but only gained 1 lb, so I'm right back on it now. Time for a shake....

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

I'm JUST on day two of trying a low-carb diet. I'm dying haha so this soup gives me hope!