1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ cups carrots, sliced

1 ½ cups celery, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

½ cup white wine (optional, or extra chicken broth)

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

Salt and pepper, to taste

20 oz. cheese tortellini, refrigerated or frozen

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

3 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped

1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half


Brown the Italian sausage in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it apart. Transfer to a slow cooker, leaving excess fat behind.

In the same skillet, sauté the onion until translucent, then add garlic for one more minute before adding to the slow cooker.

Combine carrots, celery, chicken broth, wine (if using), basil, oregano, salt, and pepper in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

Stir in tortellini and cream cheese in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Before serving, mix in the spinach and heavy cream, adjusting seasoning as necessary.

Serve warm, optionally garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Variations & Tips:

Swap Italian sausage with turkey or chicken sausage for a lighter take.

For vegetarians, omit sausage and use vegetable broth, adding mushrooms or bell peppers for depth.

A hint of sundried tomatoes can add a tangy twist.

This recipe can also be adapted for the stovetop if a slow cooker isn't available.

Leftovers often taste even better, making this soup a gift that keeps on giving.

Embrace the joy of slow cooking with this soul-warming soup, a testament to the beauty of taking time in the kitchen to create something truly special.