2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped vegetable mirapoix
2 ribs fresh celery, coarsely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup bottled water
1/2 cup cabernet red wine
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. Frank Davis Sicilian Seasoning
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 lb. baby Portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 pre-cooked mirlitons, peeled and large diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small squash, rough chopped
1 zucchini, rough chopped
2 packages three-cheese tortellini, 9-ounce size each
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Crackers or French bread

First put an 8-quart stockpot on the stove. Then over medium-high heat, drop in the sausage and saute it for 10 minutes or so (or until the meat is well browned).

At this point, drain off the fat (except for about a tablespoon), add the mirapoix, the extra celery, and the garlic and fry down that mixture for about 5 minutes.

Then add to the developing soup the chicken stock, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, Sicilian seasoning, tomato sauce, mushrooms, mirlitons, and bell pepper. Do not add thesquash, zucchini, tortellini, parsley and Parmesan cheese at this stage)

Now bring all these ingredients to a rolling boil, but immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup partlycovered for about 30 to 40 minutes, periodically skimming away any fat that might accumulate on the surface.

Then just before you're ready to eat, drop in the squash, zucchini, tortellini, and parsley. Finally, simmer the soup for about 10 minutes or until the tortellini is fully cooked al dente.

All that's left is to generously ladle the creation into individual bowls and garnish with the Parmesan cheese.


Chef's Note:

To make this soup vegetarian, simply leave out the Italian sausage and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for the soup base.

The mirlitons can be either steamed or gently poached until fork tender then peeled and diced before adding to the soup.

Crusty French bread or a sleeve of buttered saltine crackers completes the meal.