This soup comes with a memory: a bowl of hearty soup served by my mother-in-law one chilly fall afternoon many years ago. I remember the tomatoey broth being so complex yet so comforting, and the cheesy tortellini were a brilliant touch. I asked her for the recipe, but she, being the MacGyver of the kitchen that she is, didn’t have anything to give — it was a one-time-only melting pot of a week’s worth of leftovers. But I didn’t forget it.
Just the other week, I was scavenging the pantry for dinner, thumbing over a can of San Marzano tomatoes and a lone onion, when the hearty soup came flooding back to me. I had frozen tortellini and sausage in the freezer, so dinner just about made itself.