Cheese tortellini and vegetable soup

When I first made this dish, I used an Internet recipe that I cannot find anymore despite a thorough search through bookmarks, e-mails, print-outs and Google. While there are many tortellini soup recipes on the Internet, none that I read seemed quite right. I wanted something simple but hearty. And something that didn’t require sausage. For some reason, 70% of the Internet recipies I’ve found include Italian sausage! So when I needed to make this dish again, I used my very flimsy memory and flavour preferences, and made up my own version.

Cheese tortellini and vegetable soup

Cheese tortellini and vegetable soup

Cheese tortellini and vegetable soup

Makes approximately 6-8 servings.

Ingredients
Olive oil
One chopped medium onion
5-8 diced or pressed cloves of garlic
One to two cups chopped celery, including leaves (I find the leaves are a nice substitute for parsley.)
One to two cups chopped carrots
One can diced or crushed tomatoes (796 mL/28 oz)
900 mL/32 oz/4 cups of broth (I used two cartons of low-sodium beef broth but you could use chicken or vegetable broth. And you can use homemade stock of course, but I don’t bother because if I make fresh stock/broth, I’m drinking it as soup right then and there. I don’t necessarily agree that sticking water in with some vegetables for a few minutes will make a better stock than one with flavour already included.)
One package of fresh cheese tortellini (350 g)
Italian seasoning, fresh ground black pepper, and salt to taste

Directions
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot and fry your garlic and onions until the onions start to turn translucent but do not let the garlic burn.

Add your celery, carrots, tomatoes, and soup stock. Add the spices. Let simmer until the vegetables are tender enough for your taste. I would recommend not letting it cook until the vegetables are very soft, as a slight bit of crunch is nice to have when eating the soup.

Add the tortellini and cook until the tortellini float to the top, and add additional spices if needed.

The tortellini will soak up a lot of soup, so you may need to add more stock if you are serving leftovers of this dish the next day. Another option is to cook only part of the tortellini package, and cook the remainder when you heat up the soup leftovers.

Variations: Add chopped parsley to the soup. Add other vegetables like spinach. Top soup with some freshly shredded Parmesan or similar cheese. Try using different tortellini like tri-coloured or herbed pasta.

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