Here's one of the easy soups I make often. Tortellini Soup. You can have it ready for the table in less than an hour, unlike other soups that need longer to develop flavor.
Since this is an Italian style soup, the first step is to pour yourself a nice glass of wine.
Simple ingredients: a pound of mild Italian sausage (in links or bulk), onions and garlic (but of course!), spaghetti sauce (I'm using my homemade sauce but any jar of your favorite will do), canellini aka white kidney beans (here's a good way to slip some nutritious legumes into your diet), tomato sauce and of course, tortellini (dry or fresh).
Start by cooking up the Italian sausage.
I have links so I cut them into slices.
Chop the onion (as much as you like, I used half a large one) and cook it with the sausage until the meat is brown and the onions are tender.
After the onions are cooked I add the chopped garlic (four small cloves). Garlic only needs a minute to cook so I add it after the meat is done. Then I deglaze the pan with some red wine.
Do not use that good stuff in your glass. This is the time to break out the Two Buck Chuck. Save the better, more expensive wine for savoring on your palette. I talked about my reasoning for this in a previous post. It is a fallacy that you should only use good wine for cooking. No one can tell the difference after it is cooked.
Deglazing a pan means using a liquid, in this case wine but you could also use broth, to get the browned bits on the bottom of the pan dissolved to add flavor to the soup. Simply pour in a half cup or so of wine, let it sizzle while you scrape the bottom of the pan. The alcohol will cook out and the liquid will reduce slightly. Try not to swoon from the heavenly aroma since you still have to finish the soup.
The wine is optional in this soup. If you don't have any to cook with proceed without. I like the extra flavor dimension it adds to the soup so I'm including the suggestion here.
Next add the spaghetti sauce, the tomato sauce, the drained beans and two cans of water or beef broth. Again, whatever is on hand. Beef broth gives more flavor but water works too.
There needs to be plenty of liquid in the soup for the dry pasta to absorb. It shouldn't be thick like a chili at this point but brothy. Add salt and pepper to taste here.
Bring the soup to a simmer and then add the tortellini pasta. This was an eight ounce box.
The dry tortellini needs to cook for about twelve minutes until they are soft and doubled in size. Fresh pasta will take less time.
While the soup was finishing, I baked a pan of foccacia bread.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese.