Sausage, Cabbage, Tortellini Soup

Sausage, Cabbage, Tortellini Soup

Today is another food box delivery day, and we have 10 items going out in our shares this week! One of our items are beautiful cabbages, grown on the Iowa Prison Industries Farm #3, in Montrose, Iowa. This item happens to be the one that’s traveled the farthest this week, a (not so) whopping 90 miles from the farm.

If you’ve gotten a share this week, you might’ve unpacked your box to find a large (some of them, overly large) cabbage. You may also be wondering what in the world you can do with all. that. cabbage. If you peruse your newsletter, you’ll find a few recipes in there that’ll give you some ideas. But I (Jen) also wanted to share one of my absolutely FAVORITE ways to use cabbage: Sausage, Cabbage, Tortellini Soup.

Bear with me. It sounds odd, but it is truly amazing. It is one of my all-time favorite recipes, and it’s EASY!! Win-win!

I recommend using an enamel dutch oven to make this in, if you have one. Otherwise, any regular pot will work. And while the cabbage gives this soup amazing flavor, the key is picking a good sausage. Don’t substitute plain ground beef, turkey, or chicken…the flavor of the sausage is key to this soup. If you like spicy, choose a spicy Italian sausage. I’m not a spice lover, so I go with a mild Italian sausage. Ground sausage is fine, though a ring sausage is also delicious. Go with what’s on sale and sounds tasty.

Check it out:

Sausage, Cabbage, and Tortellini Soup


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced finely
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 32 oz box vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 9 oz. package refrigerated tortellini
  • 2-3 cups finely chopped cabbage packed tightly
  • Parmesan Cheese


  1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Saute until the onion and garlic are soft and translucent. 

  2. Crumbled the Italian Sausage into the pan with the onion and garlic. Cook until sausage is no longer pink. Drain if desired.

  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and let soup simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  4. Add tortellini and cabbage and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tortellini is tender and the cabbage softens. 

  5. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!

One thing I love about this recipe is that it’s versatile. I swap out the greens regularly. When I have cabbage, I use cabbage. When I have kale, boom, kale soup. When I have spinach, I toss some spinach in. This week, you could use your cabbage or your New Zealand Spinach in this soup. Also be sure to use the onions and garlic that were in your box. You could even toss in some of the cherry tomatoes you got, though those are pretty delicious plain, too.

As a side note, you can drain the sausage if you so desire. I almost never do, as the flavor from the minimal grease is phenomenal. However if your sausage is extra greasy, or you’re trying to cut out extra fat, you can definitely drain it. It’ll still taste great!

All in one pot, done in about an hour? Yeah, this is a great recipe. It makes a frequent appearance in my household, and will be made tonight or tomorrow (since I have a giant cabbage to use now)!


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