Quick Tortellini & Spinach Soup
If you’re a meat-and-potatoes kind of cook like me, autumn is a favorite season in the kitchen. Making comfort food feeds my soul. Soups, breads, roasts, and anything with the word “loaf” in its name. I’m so into this homey kind of cooking that if I were a drag queen, I’d name myself Cass Er’Role.
Every fall, before the holidays, I ensure our pantry is well stocked with staples like broth, dried beans, canned tomatoes, and various grains. I also make sure my tools are all in good working order, fixing or buying as needed.
But I have to keep myself in check because I can be a gadget whore. That, or when my husband’s not looking, I sneak the next best, can’t-live-without-it, thing-a-ma-jig into the utensil drawer. I’ll deal with the fallout when he washes it.
But seriously, I so enjoy puttering with the implements of cooking. To the point of seeking reasons and recipes to use them.
Like my dough scraper, avocado slicer, corn kernel stripper, and my industrial pop-up towel dispenser. Or my serrated peeler for tender skinned items like tomatoes and peaches. And I love my raised cutting board because it’s easier on my neck. Speaking of which, I recently switched to a cross-back apron...it is so much more comfortable!
Have you checked out the Kitchen & Company store on Rt. 1 in Lewes? It’s my North Pole with aisles and aisles of tools, tableware, small appliances, and specialty items. If your kitchen needs it, they’ve got it.
They also carry a large selection of Lodge cast iron. If you haven’t tried Lodge’s enameled cookware, it is every bit as good as the high-end lines you’ll find at Williams Sonoma, but at a fraction of the cost. I especially love their low-sided Dutch ovens.
So, this month I’m highlighting a one-pot meal I often make in the fall, my Quick Tortellini & Spinach Soup. It’s fast but tastes like it simmered all day. Fast enough to whip up after work or before Trick-or-Treat.
Let’s get started, shall we?
- Grab a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Sauté over medium heat: 2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil, 1 medium carrot diced into ¼-inch pieces, and ½ cup diced onion.
- When the vegetables are tender, add 2 crushed garlic cloves for 30 seconds. Then add: 6 cups lower sodium chicken broth, 2 cans (approximately 14 oz each) crushed stewed tomatoes, and 8 to 12 oz dried tortellini.
- Bring almost to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add 6 oz of fresh baby spinach and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in some fresh flat leaf parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
• Feel free to stretch and supplement this soup with additional ingredients from your refrigerator. I often add things I need to use up like some low sodium vegetable juice, ½ pound of cooked Italian sausage, or some fresh tomatoes.
• For deeper flavor, swap in some bone broth or add a pinch of bouillon. Just watch the amount of salt and adjust your seasoning at the end. Remember: Parmesan cheese can be quite salty.
• Play around with fresh spices too. Like adding some thyme when you sauté the vegetables. Or adding some basil when you add the spinach. For that matter, swap in kale or some micro greens. Bottom line, this soup is a workhorse you can make exactly how you want in quick order. ▼
Ed and his husband Jerry split their time between homes near Harrisburg Pennsylvania and Bethany Beach. Ed builds websites to pay the bills but loves to cook, garden, hike, and dote on their dog Atticus. Recipe requests and feedback welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org.