Tortellini and Spinach Soup
Total approximate time from start to finish: 25-30 minutes
This is one of the most delicious and easiest soup recipes I’ve ever encountered. I found this one in the Food and Wine Quick from Scratch Soup and Salad Cookbook. If you like garlic, spinach and tortellini, you will absolutely love this soup. It is perfect on a cold day. It is also a nice substitute for chicken soup when you’re feeling under the weather. The base is a garlic chicken broth and the spinach is full of nutrients as well. It is just as delectable the next day after the flavors have had a little time to combine. We love to eat this with crusty garlic bread. Here is what you will need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 pound of frozen tortellini
1 pound of fresh spinach
Grated parmesan to sprinkle on top at the end.The Instructions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil (I like to add salt to my water for seasoning the pasta as it cooks, about 1 tablespoon per large pot of water). While you are waiting for your water to boil, go ahead with the next step below. Once the water is at a rolling boil, cook the tortellini, making sure you stir often for about 12-14 minutes. Once it is done, drain it and rinse it with cold water.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. You want to make sure your heat is not too high and that you don’t cook it took long. You want it to still be a light, white/opaque color when you’re finished – not brown. Add the water, broth and salt and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. This will create the yummy base for your soup.
Add the spinach to the soup and cook it about 1 minute until it is wilted. One pound of spinach will look like a TON when you are adding it to the soup but it cooks down and really adds a nice body to the soup. Once it is wilted, gently stir in the tortellini. Top each bowl with a small handful of shredded parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. A note about the ingredients:
You can find the frozen, plain tortellini in the freezer section of your grocery store. It is usually located near the frozen biscuits and the frozen garlic bread.
As for the garlic – use the fresh if you can. I know so many folks that are timid about using fresh garlic but you can really taste the difference! Look in the onion section at your grocery store and you will find heads of garlic sold loosely like onions. A nice head of garlic will be firm to the touch and not have any brown or mushy spots. I’ve used white and light purple garlic but the taste is really the same. Under the skin you will see little sections – those are cloves. A quick way to prepare garlic: separate however many cloves you need (leave the little skins around the cloves). Using a sharp knife, carefully slice off the stem end. Put the garlic on your cutting board and lay the flat end of your knife on top. Using the heel of your hand, give it a good smack. This will loosen the skins away from your clove of garlic and you can separate it out much easier than painstakingly peeling each clove by hand. As an added bonus, it is already a little smashed and ready for mincing.