Vegetable Tortellini Soup

On lazy Sunday afternoons, when I have time around the house but don’t want to spend a lot of it cooking, I’ll put on a pot of this soup to serve a healthful, delicious meal. Once the majority of the ingredients are in the pot, it simmers slowly for about an hour. The pasta, peas and greens go in at the end, as they take just a few minutes to cook. If you happen to have a leftover rind of parmigiano-reggiano cheese in the fridge, toss it in the pot while the soup cooks for added flavor. Serve with a nice loaf of artisan crusty bread, lots of freshly grated parmigiano, and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Vegetable Tortellini Soup

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
On lazy Sunday afternoons, when I have time around the house but don't want to spend a lot of it cooking, I'll put on a pot of this soup to serve a healthful, delicious meal. Once the majority of the ingredients are in the pot, it simmers slowly for about an hour. The pasta, peas and greens go in at the end, as they take just a few minutes to cook. If you happen to have a leftover rind of parmigiano-reggiano cheese in the fridge, toss it in the pot while the soup cooks for added flavor. Serve with a nice loaf of artisan crusty bread, lots of freshly grated parmigiano, and a drizzle of good olive oil.
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Course Main Course, Soup
Servings 8

Ingredients
 

  • ¼ cup dried mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 28- ounce can chopped tomatoes, or use 2 pounds fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pound boiling potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 12 ounce package tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 bunch spinach or baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • grated parmigiano-reggiano and olive oil for serving

Instructions
 

  • Soak the mushrooms in hot water to cover and set aside to hydrate. Once they are soft, remove them from the liquid and roughly chop. Keep the soaking liquid.
  • Using a food processor, blend the onion, garlic and herbs with half of the olive oil until finely ground. Warm the remaining olive oil in a large stock pot and saute the onion mixture over medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking if necessary, for 5-8 minutes until softened.
  • Add the celery and carrots to the pot and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and scrape up any bits sticking to the bottom. Stir in the potatoes and the dried mushrooms. Finally add the chicken stock, salt, and any liquid from the mushrooms (leaving the sediment on the bottom of the bowl). Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 50-60 minutes.
  • Stir in the peas, pasta, and spinach, partially cover and cook another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
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