So, you may have noticed that my recipes lately have been very pasta-based (albeit gluten-free or made from quinoa) have had a lot of vegetables, and seem to be some derivative of Italian cuisine.

Guilty on all counts.

It's winter though, and hearty, healthy, comfort foods are what I have been craving. And this week is no exception. ( I promise to put up a gluten free/no sugar added/paleo muffin recipe I have been tinkering with tutte suite)

This recipe was born in my mind from the craving for ravioli. But I didn't want to just eat a bowl full of ravioli because, well, it's not super good for you and it really isn't that satisfying. Add some broth and loads of veggies though, and now we're talking. This recipe is made from fresh vegetables, used in imprecise amounts (based on preference) and is prepared without milk or cream. I have been getting tired of all of the cream-based tomato soups because they're kind of gross  and make my tummy hurt, and so I have prepared my own which is more tangy and less sweet.

The ravioli can be any type you want. If you are keeping it vegan, then choose butternut squash, or mushroom or pumpkin. If you are a meat eater go with meat... or if you're like me and have really good taste choose the asiago pine-nut basil pesto. Yeah, I know. They make that. Unbelievable, right?

As always, I am more like a impressionist artist when it comes to cooking than a trained surgeon so all measurements are approximate and can be tweaked to your preference.

Recipe makes enough for about 10 bowls of soup, if you want less, then use less ingredients.

2 boxes (32 oz each) vegetable broth
2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce (PLAIN)
1 pkg vegetarian Italian sausage cut into slices
1 pkg crimini mushrooms or similar
8oz haricot verts or regular green beans
8oz sliced carrots
1  sweet onion, diced
2 gold potatoes, cut into chunks
1 16oz pkg of ravioli of choice
Fennel, basil, salt & pepper to season

Using a large skillet, heat mushrooms, sausage and onion until cooked through and lightly browned.

In a separate pot, boil potatoes, carrots and green beans in the vegetable broth until just tender. Add the tomato sauce and then pour in the mushroom/sausage/onion mixture. Add seasonings to taste. Allow to simmer for a half hour or longer.

When ready to eat: Separately, boil the ravioli until al dente in a pot with water. Add 5 or 6 ravioli to each bowl of soup. Garnish with a little parmesan or fresh basil.

Note: If storing the remainder ( I made this and we ate it for 4 days) be sure to store the cooked ravioli separately from the soup, only adding it when heating it for consumption. If not, the ravioli will become soggy and tasteless.

Enjoy! This soup really is a great way to eat some veggies, get some comfort food in.. and stuff your mouth with ravioli.
Be well, xx

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