Cheese Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

We're in the middle of a December warm spell here in Texas--where did all the cool weather go?  Hopefully the winter weather will come back so we feel like eating soup!  It's such an easy meal--and a great way to to have a one pot dinner.

I recently saw a tasty looking tortellini soup recipe online on The Girl Who Ate Everything.  It reminded me that I had a bag of frozen tortellini in my freezer.  But, I didn't have sausage so I spent a while looking for other recipes.  Here is what I came up with:

Cheese Tortellini and Vegetable Soup
2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
2 Tbs. minced onion (dried or fresh)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (dried or fresh)
6 cups chicken broth (or 6 cups water and 6 chicken bullion cubes)
1 28 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
2 cups diced carrots
1-2 cups green beans or sliced zucchini 
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 package (approx. 1 lb.) cheese tortellini (frozen or fresh)

Combine all of the ingredients, except the tortellini, in a large pot.  Cook on the stove on a medium high temperature until the vegetables are soft, but firm.  Add the tortellini and cook for the additional minutes listed on the package.  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese or sour cream.

Tiffany's Notes: This soup wasn't too spicy--so if you like more flavor just adjust the spices.  It's really a flexible soup recipe--you could use various meats (sausage does sound good!) or just do a meat-less version.  I used a bag of frozen tortellini pasta--that was quite easy.  You can also buy fresh or even dried cheese tortellini (they all have a bit of a different taste to them). 

The red and green color of the soup looks festive for this month.  :)  You could also substitute different vegetables--really the variations are endless.  The crushed tomatoes give the soup a smoother texture--obviously the diced tomatoes would make a chunkier soup.  This is a great dish to work with what you have on hand in your pantry--but I imagine that if tomatoes were in season that fresh tomatoes would give this a wonderful taste!

Another variation that I haven't tried but sounds like it could work would be to substitute a prepared spaghetti sauce for the canned tomatoes.  It might give the soup a sweeter taste. 

This makes a large pot of soup!  So, if you're serving a smaller group you'd certainly want to cut it in half.


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