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
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.
Stats for one cup of soup made with cauliflower:
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:
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.