Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Favorite weeknight soup

I love soup. Well-made soup, that is. I'm really not fond of the canned stuff. And instant? Forget about it.

I've tried dozens of soup recipes, but this one is tops when I want a soothing, nourishing, quick feast.


The pot begins with bacon, onions and garlic. Oh, the aroma!


Stir in chicken stock, water, crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add fresh tortellini, cook through and wilt in spinach. Done.


Tortellini Soup

Adapted from the recipe Quick Tortellini and Spinach Soup from Cold-Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 slices center cut bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 quarts Kitchen Basics chicken stock

1 cup water

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes in puree

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

9 oz. package Buitoni Chicken & Proscuitto "Tortelloni" (a fresh pasta product that I find on my grocer's dairy aisle)

5 oz. container organic baby spinach leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Fresh parmesan, for grating over the top of each serving

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon, onion and garlic; cook for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Add stock, water, tomatoes and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Stir in in tortelloni. Gently boil for 8 minutes. Add spinach; cook for five more minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan.

For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon, use vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock and use fresh cheese tortelloni pasta.

I love the chicken and proscuitto version. The smokiness of the ham and the warmth of nutmeg pair with the bacon and onions in the soup base to give the final product a deep, rich flavor.

Don't forget the crusty rolls with butter!
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