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Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Tomato Soup

Pinterest came through for me on this one!  I came across this soup the other day and decided to try it out on trick or treat night.  A few neighborhood family friends dropped in after the kids were finished trick or treating.  All of the kids proceeded to find a spot on the carpet, dump their candy in their own individual pile and then began sorting and trading (this was nostalgic for me because this was one of my favorite childhood traditions).  All of the adults grabbed something to drink and appreciated coming in out of the rain and wind.  I told my friends to dig into the soup when they were ready (I was crossing my fingers it was going to be good enough to serve to guests) and the overwhelming response was that it was really delicious and deserved to go on the blog.  So here you go….all you have to do is brown the italian sausage and then add it along with everything else (except the tortellini) to the crock pot.  Add the tortellini about 20 minutes before you are ready to eat.  The flavors really meld together nicely to create a very creamy herbed tomato flavor.  The mushrooms, sausage, tortellini and spinach provide a variety of flavors and textures and make this soup a hearty meal (my picture doesn’t do it justice in terms of how hearty it is).  All credit goes to a food blog titled Heather Likes Food (I adapted only slightly — the fresh basil was a tasty addition).

Creamy Slow Cooker Tortellini Tomato Soup (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

1 24 oz. jar prepared spaghetti sauce

1/2-3/4 lb browned italian sausage (or substitute browned ground beef or ground turkey)

1/2 bag (4-6 oz) fresh spinach leaves

4 cups chicken broth

8 oz. cream cheese (can use 1/3 less fat or neufchatel cream cheese but do not use non-fat b/c it will not melt)

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

12 oz. frozen cheese tortellini (or up to 16 oz.)

toppings: shredded parmesan cheese, fresh chopped basil

Directions:

Brown sausage or meat in skillet.  In slow cooker, combine spaghetti sauce, meat, spinach, cream cheese, chicken broth and mushrooms.  Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.  20 minutes prior to serving, turn heat on high (if not already) and add frozen tortellini.  Cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until tortellini is tender.  Turn slow cooker off so tortellini doesn’t over cook.  Top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Adapted slightly from Heather Likes Food Blog

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