Recipe: Tortellini Soup with Sausage and Kale

Like most of my recipes, this one is based on several similar ones floating around the interwebs. I was actually introduced to it over Thanksgiving weekend when my daughter Morgan and her husband Liam made a huge batch of it for extended family back in Maryland.

This is super simple and ridiculously satisfying – especially on a cold, winter evening. The gochujang paste is optional if you like a little spice in your life. These days it is easily found in most grocery stores near the soy sauce.


  • 1 lb. Ground Italian Sausage
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 4-8 garlic cloves – minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Korean gochujang paste (optional for heat)
  • Bag or Bunch of Kale – cleaned and stems removed
  • Approximately 1 lb. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Thoroughly heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sausage, onions to the pot and and sauté until the onions are soft an translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 mins. (Drain off excess fat.)
  3. Add tomato paste and Gochujang (if using) and stir constantly for 1 minute.
  4. Add the chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Stir until everything is fully incorporated. 
  5. Bring to a low boil, season with salt, then simmer for 15 minutes. 
  6. Add the kale, tortellini and heavy cream. 
  7. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the kale is wilted and the pasta is tender. 
  8. Serve in soup bowls with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

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