Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tortellini Soup

What I am about to share with you may very well change your life. I have never understood "those people" who can dream up recipes all on their own, but a few years ago, in a moment of pure inspiration, I came up with the best tortellini soup - ever.

Since that time, my Dad has taken to referring to The Soup as "his" soup. There are people being led astray all over the greater Miami Valley area, but I'm here today to set the record straight.

The soup is Mine.

Not that I'm a particularly greedy person. I'm not about to deprive anyone of The Soup. It's just not how I roll. I'm all about love and sharing and garlic.

And one more thing: it's the easiest soup to make. It's so easy that it almost makes me feel like the previous text may be a tad overblown.

Here's what you'll need:

OK, a quick word from the photographer: Sorry about the terrible lighting. I'm not sure what happened here. My Honey momentarily tried to trick me into believing that flash = the devil, but I'm wayyyy over that mentality now.

Now, let's get busy. Go and round up the following:
1 Package of cheese tortellini. (I used to use that Buitoni kind in the refrigerated section, but I've since then discovered the frozen Meijer brand. It's cheaper and it really does taste better. The Buitoni stuff made my teeth feel a little gritty. Gross, I know.)
2 boxes of chicken broth. You can even throw in an additional can, if you like it a little brothier.
2 regular-sized cans of diced tomatoes. (Sometimes I use regular, sometimes I use the kind with garlic and basil)
A bag of matchstick carrots. (I typically use about half of the bag. Shredded also works in a pinch.)
Minced garlic. Fresh is best, but I have obviously breezed through that gigantic jar pictured above, so I'm no fresh-garlic snob. And you can use as much as you like. I like mine fairly garlicky - a few cloves is perfect.
Fresh basil. Must. Be. Fresh. I use a decent-sized handful (the entire bunch from the picture), chopped.
Parmasean cheese. (The powdery kind should be a last resort.)
Fresh baby spinach. 2 or 3 big handfuls.

Only 8 ingredients and other than chopping the basil, there is zero prep. I'm pretty sure Sarah could even manage this one!

Here's what you do:
Pour the broth into the pot. Throw in the tomatoes (don't drain them). Throw in the carrots. Toss in the garlic. Bring to a boil. Throw in the tortellini. Boil until done. Throw in the basil. Simmer for a little bit. Throw your spinach in for the last minute or so of simmering. The heat will make it wilty and yummy and even healthier than it already was. Top with a little cheese. Serve with garlic bread, beer bread, biscuits, anything carby.

* Last week I made a batch and threw in some chopped scallions and sliced mushrooms. Yum.

Another bad picture...but I'm telling you, we NEVER tire of this. Please try it. And when you do, be sure to report back. Even if you don't like it. But you will.