Fall has something magical in it. The days have cooled down, the leaves have turned yellow, fruits and vegetable in total abundance are waiting to be served in cozy fall crock pot recipes in a delicious combination with ingredients like sausages or tortellini. Sausage, Kale, and Tortellini Soup is an easy slow cooker recipe. Kale is a super nutrient rich vegetable packed with vitamins A, C, and K. The best part is that it’s great for brain development containing folate (one of the power B Vitamins also known as folic acid), and even a small amount of Omega 3’s. After that try the baked apples, they’re delicious and so cozy for fall days and a good companion to tortellini in soup.
- 3 links mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or enough to coat bottom of pan
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 small bunch kale, stems removed, chopped, rinsed, and drained
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can Italian style crushed tomatoes in puree
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 (8 to 10 ounce) package cheese tortellini
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Cook Italian sausage in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until completely crumbled and no pink remains. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked sausage to a double layer of paper towels to absorb any excess grease.
- Pour off grease from pan, return to stove, and add olive oil. Add onion, garlic, kale, and crushed red pepper. Cook for two or three minutes, stirring, until onion has softened and kale is slightly wilted. Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Set stove to medium-high and bring mixture just to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cover and stir in tortellini and cooked sausage. Increase heat and bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Remove cover stir in Parmesan. Taste and season with additional salt and fresh ground pepper, as desired.
Slow Cooker Baked Apples
- 5 gala apples
- 5 granola (1/8 cups, I used “Bare Naked Original Cinnamon”)
- 2 tbsps melted butter
- 5 tsps maple syrup
- ice cream (or whipped cream for serving, if making for dessert)
- Cut a layer off the top of the apples with a knife. With a melon baller tool, or a measuring teaspoon, remove the core and seeds from each apple.
- Pack ⅛ cup granola into each apple, and place into the slow cooker.
- Drizzle the apples evenly with the melted butter, and add a teaspoon of maple syrup to each apple.
- Cover, and cook on high for 2 to 2½ hours until tender, but not falling apart.
- Serve as is, or add ice cream or whipped cream.