My notes: I just made a couple changes to the original recipe. I don't have a garlic press so instead of mincing the garlic myself, I grated it into the pot using my box grater. Also, I used 1 medium zucchini instead of two. I shredded both up and thought it looked like a ton of zucchini so I used about half and I think it was perfect. Other than that, I followed it exactly. Enjoy!
Tortellini Sausage Soup (from OurBestBites.com)
3 links Italian sausage
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 onion, diced
½ c. water
2 cans chicken broth
½ c. apple cider (don't leave this out! I did once and it wasn't the same...)
1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. sliced carrots
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 medium zucchini, grated (great way to use your food processor if you have one)
8-10 oz. package cheese tortellini (check the freezer section of your grocery store; if you can find it there, it will almost always be way cheaper than fresh tortellini. Also, Barilla makes a great dry cheese tortellini)
2 Tbsp. dried parsley (yes, that's two tablespoons)
If you're using link sausage, remove the casings and crumble into a large soup pot. To remove the casings, you can use a sharp knife to cut a slit down one side of the sausage and then peel back the casing. Begin cooking sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently. If your sausage is pretty fatty, you'll want to drain it when it's about halfway cooked.
Meanwhile, chop onions and garlic and add to the sausage. Continue cooking until onions are translucent and your sausage is cooked. Your house will smell heavenly.Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, juice, water, chicken broth, carrots, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add parsley and zucchini and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.Add the tortellini and cook until tender, and then serve with bread and freshly-grated Parmesan.