My wife's sister introduced us to this soup a few years ago. It is perfect for cold and rainy days.
I have modified the original recipe to meet my tastes.
I always make a double batch and will have all the amounts in the following steps.
Step 1: Step 1 - Cook the Sausage
As I mentioned before, I always like to make a double batch. The double batch makes enough for my wife, one of my sons, and I to be able to over eat as much as we want for 2 meals.
I start with 8 oz of hot sausage and 8 oz of sweet sausage and fry it up in my largest pot.
I cook it on a low heat and cut the onions and celery in the next step while it is cooking.
Step 2: Step 2 - Cut the Onions & Celery
While the sausage is cooking I chop up 2 onions and 3 stalks of celery to add in Step 3.
I don't like to bite into large chunks of onion so I use my wife's Tupperware food processor and chop them all up in the smallest pieces possible. That way they just melt into the soup and give it good flavor.
Step 3: Step 3 - Add the Onions and Celery
I add some olive oil to the already cooked sausage, (I do not drain the grease) and then add the onions and celery and cook it all together for about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Step 5 - Add Chicken Broth
I then add 32 oz of chicken broth. If it looks like swamp water then you are doing it right.
Step 5: Step 5 - Add White Beans, Tomatoes, and Water
I then add 2 cans of diced tomatoes, juice and all. I rinse and drain 1 can of white beans and then add it to the swamp water. I also add 6 cups of water. Technically I should add 7 or 8 but my pot is not big enough and this makes the flavor a little stronger.
Step 6: Step 6 - Bring the Water to a Boil and Add the Tortellini
I then bring the water to a boil and add 1 lb of dried tortellini that I buy in bulk. I let that simmer for about 20 minutes and the tortellini suck up the broth like nobody's business.
Step 7: Step 7 - Serve With Shredded Parmesan & Pesto
Fill a bowl with piping hot soup and add a generous amount of shredded parmesan on top. Let sit for 3 or 4 minutes and the cheese will melt to form a gooey layer on top that is fabulous. My wife likes to add a spoonful of pesto before adding the cheese but she is wrong.