Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tortellini Soup with Chicken

Featured Ingredient: Diced Tomatoes

Here is a nice variation for those nights when you have had enough ravioli with sauce, but not enough time to make much more of anything else.  The preparation and cook time can vary based on how much time you have.  If you have a little more time to spare, I would recommend simmering the soup so it can develop more flavor.  If not you can rapidly increase its finish time by boiling the ingredients.

This makes a nice side or a main dish soup with some crusty Italian bread and a salad. I adapted this recipe from an old Family Circle cookbook.

Chicken Tortellini Soup - Serves 6

Extra virgin olive oil as needed
1 large onion chopped = to 1 cup
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
3 cloves garlic minced
8 cups low sodium chicken broth (canned or two boxes)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes undrained
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried basil
2 dried bay leaves
9 oz. tri-colored cheese tortellini
1 cup sliced cooked chicken
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese as desired

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot.  Add onion, carrot and celery and "sweat" the vegetables over a low medium heat (don't brown) until the onion starts to become translucent - about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and saute for about 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.  Be sure not to let garlic brown, or it can add a bitter taste.

Add broth, tomatoes, marjoram, basil and bay leaves.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce to a simmer and add tortellini, chicken, salt and pepper.  Simmer until vegetables are tender and tortellini is how you like it.  I like my tortellini a little softer and past al dente so they are at their "plumpiest". 

If you are on a time schedule or are really hungry.  You can speed up the cooking process after you heat ingredients to a boil by continuing to boil everything is tender.   I don't recommend a vigorous boiling, but maybe a rolling boil will complete your dish faster without totally obliterating the tomatoes.  It's a very forgiving soup either way.

Top with grated parmesan cheese

You could also try this with meat tortellini and eliminate the cut up chicken.

Now that I think about it I should have made Italian Wedding Soup for today's blog post with little meatballs and escarole as my second cousin the "Un-Valley Girl" got married today in Canada.  Oh well, maybe Italian Wedding Soup isn't the most appropriate choice as we are Lithuanian. I wish her a great honeymoon and a future filled with love, comfort and comfort food.  Can't wait to see her pictures on Facebook.

Tortellini Soup with Chicken

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