First, let's talk about the food...
Italian Tortellini Soup will keep you comfy cozy during the colder months that are headed our way.. it's a must-have when the temperatures start dropping! I love this soup! It's made with Italian turkey sausage so it's low in fat than other Italian sausages plus this soup has zucchini, carrots, onions, peppers, in a tomato soup base and layered with herbs. The finishing touch is the fresh cheese tortellini's~ which are simply the perfect way to top it off! Mmmmmm hmmm.
I use red wine to deglaze the pan... you can deglaze a pan with any liquid actually- even water but a vegetable or chicken would add more flavor. I like using the red wine, it adds amazing depth to the flavor also the majority of the alcohol is cooked off. What does it mean to deglaze a pan? In this recipe we heat the olive oil and then add in the onions to caramelize, adding the garlic at the end so that it won't burn. Once we have a nice carmel color on the onions and garlic then add the red wine, using a wooden spoon scrape all the bits and pieces off the bottom of the pan (called the fond) to bring all of that delicious flavor into the soup.
Italian Tortellini Soup
Recipe Type: Main
- 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium green pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine (cabernet sauvignon)
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2-1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp agave or sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, minced
- 8 to 10 ounces purchased fresh vegetable tortellini
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Heat olive oil in stock pot, add onion and sauté until translucent and caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic the last minute so can cook without burning.
- Add 1/4 cup red wine and deglaze pot (scrap up bits of flavor from bottom of pan while simmering wine).
- Sauté Italian sausage in stock pot over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling with back of spoon, about 10 minutes.
- Add stock, tomato paste, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, wine, remaining red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, agave, basil and oregano.
- Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.
- (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)
- Cook tortellini in separate pot.
- Add to soup.
- Add fresh herbs.
- Season soup to taste with sea salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan and Serve.
I know you'll love my Italian Tortellini Soup it's a healthier soup that tastes like all the calories are right in there :)
Now that we have a yummy healthy recipe let's look at a great way to complete our Fit Friday by talking about circuit training and I will explain why I love it.
Let's start by simply defining circuit training: Circuit training is a form of body conditioning or resistance training using high-intensity aerobics. It targets strength building and muscular endurance. In other words, it is cardio and resistance/weight training thrown together for a sweaty good time.
Why do it? This is a great option on days you are short on time. I have a lot of friends and clients that do weights for 30-60 minutes then another 30-60 minutes of cardio. I have a lot of days where I just cannot commit to that amount of time so instead of just saying "oh well....maybe tomorrow" I combine and feel good about what I have achieved in that amount of time I had.
I also love these types of workouts for days I just really don't feel like doing anything or I am bored with my routines. Instead of thinking I need to run for 5 miles I can break it down to only 1/2 mile segments and throw in a quick round of pushups, or core, or whatever I want to do that day.
It is also a great way to throw in high-intensity cardio that you really can't sustain for long periods of time. I mean, seriously, who can jump rope for 30 solid minutes? Not me! But I can jump rope for 1 minute then follow it up with a series of squats with a shoulder press and pushups with tricep kickbacks.