Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vegetable Soup with Cheese Tortellini

In Indy its been snowing and icing like crazy (across the whole country actually - I think there is a 20 ft of snow blizzard in Chicago where my friend Katie lives).  When its cold out I think everyone craves something warming and comforting.  This soup will do it for ya.  And add this side dish, inspired by ina, and you'll forget you're eating something healthy!

Vegetable Soup with Cheese Tortellini - from Good Stuff Maynard 
Shredded chicken breast (1 or 2 breasts - our addition)
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped  (or red onion in my case was all I had)
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (I used reduced sodium and a mix of both)
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used the no salt added variety)
handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped (1-2 teaspoons dried)
1 teaspoon of oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
2 small zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces
1 small yellow squash, chopped into bite size pieces
13 oz frozen cheese tortellini
3 cups sliced fresh spinach (about 3 ounces)
Asiago cheese, shredded (or grated Parmesan was what we had)
olive oil
Place the olive oil in a large pot oven over medium heat. Add the chicken, onions, carrots and celery then cook 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked and veggies are softened. Add the seasonings and garlic then stir constantly for 60 seconds before adding the tomatoes and broth. Cover and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium high, then add the tortellini, zucchini and squash. Cook for 10 minutes or until the tortellini is cooked through. Stir in spinach and simmer, uncovered, until spinach is wilted and all vegetables are tender, about 1 minute longer. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Asiago cheese.
Note: If not serving immediately, add the spinach just before serving to retain the bright color and prevent overcooking.

Two 49 cent loaves from jimmy john's were calling my name after watching one of ina's episodes this past weekend.  She made her own ricotta (who does that?)  I did not, but I did use her idea to mix in some herbs to ricotta (purchased at the grocery) and spread it over some "grilled" bread.  Soo good.  This was phenomenal dipped in the warm soup.  I just brushed slices of this bread with olive oil and dusted w/ a little S&P and grilled on both sides on our griddle.

 Then spread a thin layer of herbed ricotta over the top and dip in the warm soup.  Don't mind if I do!

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