HarvardHomemaker

By HarvardHomemaker

I'm a Harvard graduate and homemaker who blogs about living (and loving!) the domestic life with my husband and four young daughters. My blog now permanently resides at www.harvardhomemaker.com. Please visit me there!

Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:26:00 PM in Recipes
Tags: fast,  healthy,  easy,  pasta,  soup,  kid friendly

Famous Healthy 15-Minute Tortellini Soup

Alright, my friends, this is a recipe you're going to want to try!  If you like tortellini, and you like soup (and you like FAST!), this one is for you!!  My friends and family can't believe I am only just now posting this recipe because it is my go-to speedy recipe, and it's also tasty and healthy to boot!  My kids honestly jump up and down when I tell them I'm making this for dinner.  (Although I will admit that they try to avoid the spinach, but it sneaks into an occasional bite!)    I have submitted this recipe for every fundraiser cookbook I have ever participated in through churches, schools, etc., and I can't believe the number of people around town who tell me that they found the recipe in one of those cookbooks and now make it all the time, too!  So I think this recipe gets "famous" status for that!  :)

This is one of the few recipes I use where I know the ingredients by heart--simply because there isn't much to remember!  So if I find myself out and about, I can swing into the grocery store and grab the few things that I need, head home, and have this on the table in about 15 minutes.  Add some warm, crusty bread and you're all set!

You all know that I love this crockpot chicken noodle soup (it even gets the nod on my birthday!), but honestly, I make this tortellini soup even more often just because it's so quick.  Getting dinner on the table in 15 short minutes is tough to beat!   And just like the chicken noodle soup is great for babies just starting to eat finger foods, this is another recipe that's perfect for the little ones.  I grind some up with a hand blender and my 11-month-old (virtually toothless) daughter eats it like nobody's business!  And I think eating foods like this helps her to develop a taste for things our family already eats and loves, too.

I hope you like it!  I have a feeling it might be added to your regular rotation!  :)

This is all you need.  I usually have almost everything on hand.  I often buy a lot of tortellini and just keep it in the freezer--especially if I come across the whole wheat tortellini.  That can be hard to find.  It cooks just as quickly straight out of the freezer, so that's not a concern. 

Start by heating the oil in a large pot.  

Add 2-3 teaspoons of minced garlic (I like the kind you store in a jar in the fridge; and I usually use more than less.)  The original recipe actually calls for 5 thinly sliced garlic cloves, but I never bother with that myself--quicker to just scoop and dump the jarred stuff!  Stir constantly for about 30 seconds.  

*You can see here that I probably let my oil get a little too hot.  The garlic browned really quickly.  If I can tell that's happening, I try to get the chicken broth in the pot in a hurry, so I'd suggest having the cans already open and ready to go!  :)

Add the chicken broth and wine, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes.  It calls for a "dry white wine"--I typically use whatever is already open in the fridge.  I don't worry about the type too much.  I have omitted the wine, too, but I personally think it adds to the flavor.  (And yes, I still feed this to my kids--there's only 1/2 cup in a large recipe, and as far as I understand, the alcohol burns off during the cooking process.)

Add the tortellini, and cook for 6 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and spinach, and cook for 2 minutes or until the spinach wilts (this is almost immediate).  I typically use baby spinach, but here I used the larger kind--it really doesn't matter unless you have a preference.  I usually use the baby spinach because I think the kids are more likely to eat some by accident!  :)  And honestly, I think they are finally realizing that you really can't taste the spinach anyhow, so why bother trying to eat around it?!  It also helps that their baby sister scarfs down her bowl of green soup, filled with spinach!  (see below)  Maybe the peer pressure is working in my favor in this instance!

Add a pat of butter (1 T.) and when it melts, you're done!  Easy, right?

Grind Some Soup for Your Baby

For the baby, I take some soup as is and place it in the container that came with my hand blender.  Just grind it up--easy!  Takes 10 seconds.  (With my particular hand blender, I do find that the blade falls off a lot if I move my hand side-to-side too much or if I'm grinding something pretty thick--so maybe there is a better hand blender out there.  But it works well enough for what I need!)

It looks awful, I know.  But I swear, she loves it!!  She eats almost as much of it as my older girls!  *It will thicken a bit as it stands, but if it's still too runny, I might add some more pasta and grind it again.  I also often tear up a piece of bread and add that into the mix to thicken it.  You can add a piece of bread to any type of soup, etc. that you grind up for your baby if it's too thin for your liking.

She is so fired up to eat this!  :)  (and yes, I did quickly take the bowl and spoon away from her right after I snapped this picture!  I'm all for letting kids go nuts and work on spoon-feeding themselves at an early age to develop their coordination, but she's not quite there yet--and this isn't the spoon to use either... something like this is a much better spoon to start with so your baby can manage more easily when starting out.)  

Keep in mind that you can grind up just about any soup for your baby who is ready for thicker foods.  Casseroles and pasta dishes work as well--I even blend meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and vegetables all together.  I wish I had thought to serve my older girls like this!!  It can be so hard to find things to feed your baby, especially when they don't have many (if any!) teeth!  Don't get me wrong, I open plenty of jars when I'm in a hurry or when I feel like our meal won't work for our little one, but she seems to like "real food" much more than baby food!

We like to add some Parmesan cheese on top.  I'll serve it with some kind of warm bread, give my kids a little fruit on the side, and we have a quick, healthy meal that I can feel good about serving my family even when short on time!

Variations:  I know some friends like to pull chicken from a rotisserie and add that in; others add some mushrooms and sub diced canned tomatoes.  Feel free to play with it!  I hope the "base recipe" works for you, and you can tweak it to suit your own tastes!

Famous Healthy 15-Minute Tortellini Soup

Get a printable version of this recipe here.

1 T. olive oil

2-3 t. jarred minced garlic (or to taste)

1/2 cup dry-tasting white wine (I have used all kinds; it always seems to turn out fine)

3 (15.75 oz) cans chicken broth (I use the healthiest kind)

2 (9 oz) packages three-cheese tortellini (I use Buitoni whole wheat most of the time)

1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 (6 oz) bag baby spinach (or regular leaf is fine)

1 T. butter

Parmesan cheese (optional on top)

 

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  (This can burn if you're not careful.)  Stir in wine and broth, and bring to a boil.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Add tortellini and cook for 6 minutes.  Stir in chopped tomatoes and spinach, and cook for 2 minutes or until the spinach wilts (this doesn't take long).  Add the pat of butter and serve immediately once it has melted.  We like to sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.  It yields about 4 large servings.  (A single recipe used to be enough to feed our two adults plus 3 small kids, but now that the baby is eating her fair share all ground up, I am doubling it.)  I don't recommend freezing this one.

Enjoy!!

This recipe is adapted from one I found in Fitness Magazine years ago!

 

I hope you like it!  I'd love to know if you give it a try!  :)

Until next time, 

HH

 

 

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