I had no choice but to admit that he was not imagining things. Sadly, The Boy is not a fan of soup. The rest of us love it–and on a day like today, when we in south Texas are facing potentially record-breaking cold temperatures, nothing sounds better. I was really looking forward to making the house warm and cozy with that pot of soup. So I made sure to point out that, while soup was indeed on the menu for dinner, it was going to be full of things he loves. Cheese tortellini, for instance. And carrots. And spinach. (Which both of my children love. As I’ve said before, they’re weird.)
This is a really flexible recipe that lends itself to just about any combination of vegetables you might have in the refrigerator. Although I use chicken broth in my version of this soup, you could easily make this a vegetarian recipe by substituting vegetable broth instead. The chopped spinach gives it a healthy dose of iron, so you won’t be missing anything meat might provide. And if you want to use tortellini filled with something other than cheese, I’m sure that would be just as tasty.
We ate our soup with a loaf of delicious Pugliese bread that The Hubs had picked up at Costco. The Boy ended up eating his tortellini and veggies, leaving only the broth behind.
“So you liked it after all?” I asked.
“Of course,” he said. “Except for the soup part.”
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 a medium onion, diced
2 tsp. dry basil
1 red pepper, diced
3 carrots, sliced
8 cups chicken broth
1 package frozen cheese tortellini
2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves
Over medium heat, warm the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and onions; stir and allow the onions to soften for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the dry basil, stir, and let the onions cook for another 2 or three minutes.
Add the peppers and carrots to the soup pot. Stir to coat everything with the oil; let everything cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the carrots have started to soften. Pour in the chicken broth, turn up the heat slightly, and let the soup just come to a boil.
When the broth is bubbling, add the tortellini and turn the heat down again. The tortellini will start to float when it's done (which will take just a few minutes); immediately stir in the spinach. It will turn bright green, and that's when you know the soup is ready to serve.