1 pound ground Italian sausage, hot or mild
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon oregano
1 pinch cayenne, optional
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup heavy cream
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups kale, chopped
2 cups refrigerated tortellini, just under 10 oz.
Salt/ to taste
Note: The mustard powder and hot sauce are so subtle in this soup but help enhance the other flavors, so although you may be hesitant to add them, I highly recommend it!
Remove the casings from the sausage if you purchased links. Cook and crumble the sausage and diced onions over medium-high heat until the onions are softened and the sausage is cooked through, 8-10 minutes. Drain grease. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
Add basil, oregano, cayenne, hot sauce, mustard powder, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken broth and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot. Slowly stir in the heavy cream. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
Add the kale and tortellini and simmer for 3-5 minutes. (If your tortellini needs longer cooking time, add the tortellini first, then the kale during the last 5 minutes.)
Taste the soup and add salt if desired. Start with ¼ tsp and add more after that if needed.
Transfer to serving bowls and serve! (This is great with Garlic Bread with Cheese!)

Crock Pot Method:
Brown the sausage/onions on the stove top and add the flour as outlined in steps 2 + 3.
Transfer everything except for the cream, tortellini, and spinach to the slow cooker.
Cook it on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-7.
Stir in the kale toward the end and let that heat up for 10-15 minutes.
Turn heat off. Temper the cream in the microwave for 45 seconds and stir it in slowly>
Add cooked tortellini to serving bowls and ladle soup on top!
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Note that the tortellini will continue to absorb broth during storage. You may choose to boil tortellini separately and add them directly to serving bowls.
This soup does freeze well but I recommend boiling tortellini separately so that it doesn’t absorb too much broth or get overly soft.
Nutritional information an estimate and is per serving. Each serving is 1 cup, and this recipe makes approximately 10 cups.
Calories: 314kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 836mg, Potassium: 318mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1736IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 2mg