I love soup, and I could eat it just about every day except during the summer, and that’s when I switch to gazpacho. I’m not sure why one would need to have canned soup on hand, since making it from scratch is so fast and easy. If you read the”I’ve Cheated” post, you’ll know that I can make a simple supper out of a few pantry basics.
This Winter Tortellini Vegetable Soup starts with a chopped onion, celery and carrot, sauteed in a little olive oil. Add some garlic, chicken broth and a large can of chopped Italian style tomatoes and you’ve got a simple base. Throw in an herb bouquet garni (One Minute Food Byte, how to make a bouquet garni), if you like. Add whatever vegetables you like -this is a good time to clean out the veggie bin in your fridge. I added a package of fresh cheese tortellini and a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach to this batch. Then, simply season the soup with Italian herbs. For an extra blast of flavor, stir in a big spoonful of pistou to each bowl and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
The French version of pesto is called”pistou”. I wrote about the differences between the two in Give It A Whirl! Not that the culinary gendarmes would haul you off to the Bastille or anything, but pistou is just garlic, basil and salt, versus pesto, which contains cheese and pine nuts. After you’ve started your soup base, add chopped or sliced vegetables starting with the firmest ones first, since they take the longest to cook. Depending on how thick or thin you’ve sliced your veg, determines how long your soup will simmer. If you choose to make your own pistou, follow the directions for pesto, but omit the cheese and pine nuts. But if you choose to “cheat”, just buy premade pesto. I’ll never tell!
Enjoy your winter tortellini vegetable soup!
Winter Tortellini Vegetable Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups sliced zucchini (or whatever seasonal vegetables you'd like)
- 28 ounces canned chopped Roma tomatoes undrained
- 4 cups 1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounce package cheese tortellini
- 2 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- pistou or pesto
- fresh grated Parmesan
- Red pepper flakes optional
- In a large pot, heat oil over a medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue stirring until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth seasoning and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are nearly tender.
- Bring heat back to slow boil and add tortellini, and cook an additional 7-10 minutes or until tortellini is done. Turn off heat and add spinach, stirring. Season to taste.
- Stir in pistou or pesto or serve in a dish on the side and let each person add their own.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.