Tortellini Soup: for 4 or for the masses!

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This is a soup that we have made for years.  I’ve seen it in several cookbooks with tweaks on the ingredients here and there.  A few weeks ago I used this recipe as the vegetarian selection when I made dinner for the University of Pennsylvania orchestra.  The conductor, who also happens to be my handsome fella, wanted to provide dinner but didn’t want to just order pizza.  Somehow it went from me offering to bake dessert to me doing the entire meal….I’m not sure how that happened but it was a fun experience.  Since it was to be an unusually chilly day, it worked well to do soups, salad, bread and desserts for our menu.

So if you want to just feed a family of four you can make one recipe of this.  If you want to feed eight to ten, double the recipe.  If you need to feed more than that get some slow cookers and some helpers!

Tortellini Soup

In a stockpot heat over medium-high heat

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Add to the pot and cook until tender:

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed

Add to the pot and bring to a boil:

  • 3 cans of broth–Vegetable if you are going vegetarian or Chicken if you aren’t.  (I actually made my broth from boiling water and dissolving bouillon cubes 2 cubes for every 1 3/4 cup of water which is one can)

Add to the pot:

  • 1- 8oz package of dried, cheese filled tortellini

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions in the broth until tender.  Do NOT drain when tortellini are tender.

Add to the pot:

  • 1- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1- 10oz package of frozen, chopped spinach that has been thawed and most of the water pressed out of the spinach

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Now, here is how I tweaked it for the masses:
I was going to have to transport my dinner from our house to the University on a Sunday afternoon.  (Read here…Sunday mornings are busy days at our house as Brad and I both have roles to fill at our church he is there from 8 until 12 and I am there from 9 until 12:30ish)  So we had to get things done in advance.

Saturday we doubled the soup as written above EXCEPT I cooked the tortellini in boiling water for just half of the time directed on the package.  So the rest of the soup was put together, simmered, and then placed into containers in the refrigerator.  This made one larger crockpot of soup—I had two slow cookers of this soup and two others of Taco Soup.  On Sunday we transported the soup to UPenn and then I added the tortellini to the soup and placed the slow cookers on high.  In 2 1/2 hours the soups were ready to serve.  We served it with a green salad and bread along with brownies and gingerbread for dessert.

I was pleased with how the doubling and use of the slow cooker worked out for this recipe and plan to use it to invite people over for Sunday lunch sometime in the winter!

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