1 pound hot or mild ground sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 (14.5-ounce) cans tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 cups water
1 T. chopped fresh fennel or 1 tsp. dried fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1 (9-ounce) package tortellini
Remove ground sausage from casing; crumble sausage in a large Dutch oven. Add garlic and onion; cook until meat is browned. Add tomatoes and next 4 ingredients; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and add to soup. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Yield: 11 cups.
I've been making this soup since 1990 and it was originally printed in the Southern Living 1988 Annual Recipes edition.