Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vegetable Soup with Chicken and Cheese Tortellini

This recipe came from one of my good friends, Jourdan. Within a week of posting this recipe on her blog ( -- check it out!), two of her friends (me included) tried out this recipe. The result was amazing. Warm, comforting, yet light at the same time. It is a very healthy meal and you didn't feel like that while eating it at all. Adding the tortellini and chicken (Jourdan's idea!) made it a hearty meal that was awesome for leftovers all week - - yay for "free" lunch!

*Original recipe from Good Stuff Maynard 
*Diced chicken breast (1-2)
*1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped  (or, Jourdan used red onion while I used regular white onion)
*2 carrots, coarsely chopped
*2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
*4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
*6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (I used reduced sodium chicken broth from Swanson)
*1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used the no salt added variety)
*handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped (1-2 teaspoons dried)
*1 teaspoon of oregano
*salt and pepper, to taste
*2 small zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces
*1 small yellow squash, chopped into bite size pieces
*13 oz frozen cheese tortellini (I could only find a 16oz frozen ricotta-stuffed tortellini and it was fantastic)
*3 cups sliced fresh spinach (about 3 ounces)
*Asiago cheese, shredded (or grated Parmesan was what we had)
*olive oil
*Place the olive oil in a large pot oven over medium heat. Add the chicken, onions, carrots and celery then cook 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked and veggies are softened. 
*Add the seasonings and garlic then stir constantly for 60 seconds before adding the tomatoes and broth. Cover and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
*Increase the heat to medium high, then add the tortellini, zucchini and squash. Cook for 10 minutes or until the tortellini is cooked through. 
*Stir in spinach and simmer, uncovered, until spinach is wilted and all vegetables are tender, about 1 minute longer. 
*Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Asiago cheese.

*Note: If not serving immediately, add the spinach just before serving to retain the bright color and prevent overcooking.

Jourdan went so far to be inspired to make some toasted bread to go with this soup. She used Jimmy John's loaves while I grabbed a loaf of French bread while I was at the store. To add this delicious bread to the soup follow the instructions below.

*French bread or another loafed bread, sliced
*olive oil
*low-fat ricotta (though I'm sure regular would work fine)
*herbs (I used the "Herbs Provence" from my spice rack) 

*Lightly brush each slice of bread with olive oil (both sides) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
*Place bread slices onto preheated grill pan (mine was on medium to medium-high). Toast each side until golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside. 
*While bread is toasting, mix desired amount of ricotta cheese with herbs. Sprinkle and taste to achieve desired ratio and flavor.
*When bread is done, lightly cover each slice with herbed ricotta and dip in soup. Delicious!!

Prepping for olive oil, salt, pepper and herbed ricotta

Herbed ricotta with "R" serving spoon :)

Toasting the bread

Dinner time! John absolutely loved this bread and dip. He has since requested we buy 4 loaves to make more of it for every meal!

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