Sunday, November 9, 2008

Soup's On!

I am pleased to report that we now have a fully functioning kitchen. We cleaned all weekend -- cabinets, counter tops, floors -- and have successfully fought the plaster dust and won -- at least in this one room. It is cooling down here. A high of 76 today. I know. For those of you in cooler northern climates you think I'm nuts to call 76 cool, but believe me -- it is! No humidity. We can open the windows and doors and think about making some soup.

I have canceled most of my magazine subscriptions (there's that clutter thing again). However, I continue to take my favorite cooking magazine: Fine Cooking published by the Taunton Press. They have special editions throughout the year and the recipe I want to share with you is from 101 Quick And Delicious Recipes published Fall 2003.

It is called Garlicky Tortellini, Spinach And Tomato Soup and is so quick, easy, pretty and tasty it's almost a sin! The recipe says it serves two to three although Mr. Dragon and I can get two good meals from this recipe with a little left over. If you have tortellini in your freezer, a hunk of Parmesan cheese, and a can of diced tomatoes on the shelf, all you'll need to do is pick up a bag of spinach and a bunch of basil (or raid your garden) on the way home for this terrific soup. It takes just minutes to pull it all together.
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter (I use olive oil.)
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped (I also add onion - to your taste.)
  • 4 cups (1 quart) homemade or low-salt chicken broth (I use vegetable broth.)
  • 6 oz. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini (I am especially fond of Buitoni Portabello Mushroom & Cheese Tortellini.)
  • 14 oz. canned diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 10 oz. spinach, washed and stemmed; coarsely chopped if large
  • 8 to 10 leaves basil, coarsely chopped (I don't use as much basil -- to your taste.)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, preferably parmigiano reggiano
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic (and onion) and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook halfway, about 5 minutes for frozen pasta, less if using fresh. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook just until the pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and basil and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the grated cheese. How about rosemary and olive bread and a small salad to make the meal complete?! Enjoy!

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