Sausage Tortellini Soup with Parmesan Crisps

I mentioned in yesterday's post how this time of year makes me nostalgic for family recipes. With the holidays coming up, I start longing for Kathleen and dad's Thanksgiving dressing, my Aunt Gina, Claire and I's apple pie, my mom's creamed corn...I could go on forever. Aside from holiday recipes there are a handful of family recipes I crave. Exhibit A, this Sausage Tortellini Soup. 

I remember growing up and this soup always showing up on that first really cold day. With the couple chilly days we've had, my taste buds immediately wanted this soup. Although, I actually made this soup on Monday when it was a near 90 degrees. Not quite soup weather... maybe my cooking will help Oklahoma get its fall weather act together!

Growing up we always had sausage tortellini soup with a big wedge of skillet cornbread. Not that I don't loooooooove my fam's cornbread, but I wanted to try something new. Raise your hand if you've had those parmesan crisps they sell at Whole Foods (hand raised high). Last week I was there and they had them out as a sample. I embarrassingly went by three times for another bite. They are just baked cheese but kind of get away as being a cracker. 

I did my best to recreate those coveted parmesan crisps so I didn't have to hand over nine bucks for a box of something I could make at home. I bought a cheap wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano at Trader Joe's then grated it on a box grater. I love the way they turned out and they pair perfect with this soup!

Sausage Tortellini Soup with Parmesan Crisps
yields 10 cups

1 lb. Italian sausauge
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 (14½ oz) cans beef broth
2 (14½ oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup dry red wine
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsps. dried Italian seasoning
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
*Parmesan Crisps

Discard sausage casings. Cook sausage, onion and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink; drain and return to pan.

Sir in broth and next 6 ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes. Skim off fat. Stir in zucchini and tortellini, simmer 10 minutes. Serve each bowl with a parmesan crisp!

*Parmesan Crisps:
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Using a box grated, great your parmesan cheese. I used a combination of two sizes of grates. Drop heaping tablespoons of parmesan onto the lined baking sheet. Pat out into 2 1/2 inch circles. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them, they may need less time. Let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Gently lift off, be careful they are delicate. 

Family recipes really are the best. I've been on a kick of remaking some of my favorites from growing up. What are some of your favorite family recipes?