A few years ago I was at a get-together and someone brought this soup to it. I loved it and absconded with the recipe before the night was over. Since then, it has been a staple cold-weather meal in our house.

With fall around the corner, I thought now would be a good time to share this recipe with everyone. This recipe not only tastes great, but it is pretty easy to make too. If you wanted to you could always cook the sausage and onions the night before, and then just throw everything into a crockpot in the morning and leave it on low all day, and it will be ready to eat when you get home. If you have the time in the evenings, you can always cook it as the directions say to.

Hearty Sausage Tortellini Soup

1 pound Italian sausage

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 cups broth

2-15 ounce cans diced tomatoes

1 zucchini sliced

2 cups cheese tortellini

Salt and black pepper to taste

Cook the sausage thoroughly and then drain off the grease. Set the sausage aside.

Throw oil and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until onion is tender, and then add the garlic and red peppers then cook for two more minutes.

Toss broth, tomatoes and zucchini into the pot, and stir until combined. Add the tortellini and cook it until it is soft, between 5 to 10 minutes. Now stir in the sausage, and let simmer until the soup is as hot as you desire, then serve.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of the University of Montana, animal lover and writer.