Monday, October 10, 2016

Meatless Monday--Weeknight Tortellini Soup

When it comes to fall and winter, I'm pretty happy to consistently eat meals served in bowls.  Oatmeal, soup, stews, chilis, braises, and the like--I just can't get enough.  When the weekend comes, I love to set the slow cooker going or put a pot of something on the stove to cook low and slow all day long, filling the house with comforting, homey aromas.

But I also have a job that takes me away from the house five days a week.  And while I love to cook, I don't always want to dive into a complicated recipe after a long day at work and a workout that has left me spent and starving.  Fortunately, comfort doesn't only come from recipes that take all day.

This easy tortellini soup takes no more than ten minutes to prep and can go from ingredients on your counter to a meal on your table in 30 minutes flat.  With the help of canned crushed tomatoes and your favorite store-bought tortellini, all the ingredients will last in your fridge or pantry for at least a few days, which means you can grocery shop over the weekend and still have everything you need to make this on a hectic Thursday night or a lazy Friday night at home.

Fall comfort and weeknight ease come together in this simple vegetarian tortellini soup that goes from ingredients to your table in 30 minutes or less.

Weeknight Tortellini Soup
adapted from Gimme Some Oven

2 TBSP olive oil
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 (28-oz.) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
5 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. roughly chopped fresh basil
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans
1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, plus more to taste 
1 package refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini
2 c. fresh baby spinach or chopped kale
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

1.  Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and bring to temperature.  Add the onion and sauté until it becomes soft and translucent, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.

2.  Add the tomatoes, broth, basil, beans, salt, and both peppers to the pot.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  

3.  Add tortellini and spinach and continue simmering for 3-5 minutes, according to tortellini package instructions.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

4.  To serve, ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

*Note: The leftovers of this soup keep well up to three days, though I like to store the tortellini in a separate container to prevent it from getting mushy.

Yield: 6 main dish servings