Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground (bulk) italian sausage
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 2 large carrots – chopped or shredded
  • 2 stalks celery – chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 Tbsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 C low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 C cornstarch
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 qt half and half
  • 20 oz fresh three cheese tortellini 
  • 5 oz bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 C milk – you may need more/less – see step 12 below
  • salt, pepper & garlic powder – to taste
  • parmesan cheese – shredded – for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place a slow cooker liner bag in your crockpot (*see Notes below)
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage until browned
  3. Place the browned sausage, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, italian seasoning, bouillon powder, salt and broth in crockpot
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours
  5. Uncover and skim any fat that is sitting on the top of the soup with a spoon – discard & cover
  6. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is dissolved
  7. Pour cornstarch mixture and half and half into crockpot and stir until well combined
  8. Add fresh tortellini and mix well
  9. Cover again and cook on HIGH for an hour until the soup has thickened and the tortellini is soft and cooked through
  10. Add in spinach, pressing the leaves down to completely submerse into the liquid
  11. Cover again and continue to cook on HIGH for 10 minutes until the leaves have wilted
  12. Pour in milk in 1/3 C increments, as needed, to reach your desired thickness and consistency (I needed 1 C)
  13. Taste test and season with pepper, garlic powder and only if needed, salt

Notes:

  1. For easy clean up, I always use a slow cooker liner bag – make sure if you use a slow cooker liner bag, that you buy the specific liner bag that is made for Slow Cookers, DO NOT use anything else or it will melt and ruin your food!
  2. Garnish bowl of soup with shredded parmesan cheese
  3. Serve with crusty warmed bread
  4. Plan on approx 8.5 hours total cooking time
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