8 medium size organic carrots, scrubbed and washed, sliced into 1/2" (do not peel carrots and will be more flavorful)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine (this is optional, you can substitute with 1 cup chicken broth)
1 @28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 qt chicken broth (8cups)
3 large sprigs fresh oregano
one large family package of cheese tortellini
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 - 4 large handfuls of baby spinach
grated parmesan cheese to garnish
toasted rustic bread for serving/dipping
Add olive oil to a large heavy duty stock pot. Once oil is heated, add the sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage into bite size chunks while cooking. Cook sausage for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often until all sides are brown, no longer pink and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a plate. Set aside.
Using the oil sausage base, leave heat on medium and add the red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, onion and fennel to pot. Stir to combine. Season again and saute for about 5-7 minutes until slightly caramelized. Add the carrots and garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until carrots slightly soften.
Stir in the tomato paste. Cook for one minute. Add one cup of white wine or one cup of chicken broth. Stir well and allow mixture to simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, the chicken broth and oregano sprigs. Stir well.
Bring the soup to a soft boil, reduce heat and lightly simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove oregano sprigs.
Add the tortellini and cook for about 2-3 minutes until dente. Do not overcook pasta. Stir in cream and add the sausage back to the soup to heat through. Stir carefully to combine so pasta holds its shape. Add the spinach, again stir to combine and let spinach wilt.
Ladel soup into very large soup bowls and top with parmesan cheese. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve with toasted bread for dipping.