Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Soup

I think that it would be very prudent if we talked about soup today.

Did you know on Monday the greater Boston area had temperatures in the twenties? TWENTIES!!

It is no surprise then that all I could think about this week was soup. I needed warmth in a big bowl sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I have some usual go-to soup recipes. There's my Mom's Lentil Soup, which is flavorful and rich and a blog favorite! I also stumble over my words when it comes to this Chicken Tortilla Soup--just a bit creamy, a bit spicy, and a whole lot of delicious. And then, Corn Chowder...corn chowder always.

Last night, however, the soup menu got a shake-up in the form of Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Soup. I love the idea of adding tortellini to soup instead of rice or traditional pasta--the cheesy insides make everything right in the world. I used the great fall flavors of thyme and nutmeg to bump up that comfort food feeling and brightened everything up with a bit of lemon zest and lemon juice. This soup kept me coming back for more! This is one hearty dish.

The recipe below is a cinch to throw together...I'd go so far as to say it's a thirty minute meal (a la Rachel Ray). Like any great soup, I must insist you enjoy it with crusty bread and freshly grated Parmesan cheese while snuggled up on the couch watching Seinfeld.


Just make this soup. Trust me on this one. Look at how steamy and delicious it looks--mouthwatering!

Kitty approved

Here's what you need for Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Soup* (Print Recipe!)

1 pound fresh tortellini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
3 large stalks celery, chopped
1 medium turnip, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
4 cups chicken stock plus 1 cup water
1 pound cooked chicken, shredded/roughly chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish

Here's what you do

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside (see note).

In a 5 quart stock pot with a tight fitting lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, turnip, and onion. Stir to coat in the oil. Add the lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, add the bay leaf and cover the pot. Cook the vegetables until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the nutmeg and most of the thyme leaves (I like to add a pinch right at the end to be sure that great flavor comes through). Add the chicken stock, water, and lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the chicken and corn; simmer the soup 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. At the 10 minute mark, stir in the remaining thyme, a touch more nutmeg if you see fit, and a bit more salt and pepper to your taste.

In a soup bowl, scoop a ladle-full of tortellinis into the bottom. Top with a generous amount of the soup and spring freshly grated cheese on top. Serve immediately!

Note: In an effort to avoid the tortellinis getting mushy and overly plump, I cooked them separately and layered the soup almost as if you were topping a plate of rice with some chili. You could probably cook the tortellinis right in the soup pot, but I'd recommend an additional cup or so of chicken stock. I have not tried this method so I cannot vouch for the results.

*Gas Stove Girl original recipe

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