Chicken Tortellini Soup.

This is a recipe my mom modified from somewhere after I had moved out of the house…I tried it once while visiting and just loved it.  I took the recipe and modified it a little more and came up with this tried and true favorite that I’ve made plenty of times over the years.  It’s one of those soups that makes enough to be worth the effort, but not so much that you’re eating nothing but soup for every meal for a week.  It’s also fairly easy to make, I think you could put the whole thing together and be sitting down to eat in 30 minutes or less.  Please pardon the low quality pictures, it was the end of a long day and I didn’t want to be bothered with getting the “real camera” (the camera in my phone was just so much closer to the stove :)).

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cans (approximately 28 ounces total) chicken broth
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder

Instructions:

  • Put olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat.
  • While oil heats, cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Add chicken to heated oil, season, and cook through.
  • While chicken is cooking, slice baby carrots lengthwise (usually 3-4 slices per carrot).
  • Once chicken is cooked, add chicken broth, water, and carrots.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.
  • Remove soup from heat and add baby spinach.

Notes:

  • As you can see, this is one of those great recipes where you can do everything as you go.  I hate when you have to spend 30 minutes just prepping everything before you even start cooking!
  • I’m not sure why my mom decided to slice baby carrots lengthwise (because it’s really dangerous lol) but I liked it.  You could choose to use regular carrots, or just cut them up however you want.  I don’t have an amount listed because it’s really just up to you how many carrots you like!  I think if I had to estimate I’d say I usually put in at least one cup.  Some days I feel more carroty than others.  🙂
  • I’ve started using the tetrapacks of chicken broth vs. cans for some reason….this recipe uses pretty much just a single box.  I think that gives you a few ounces more than if you used the cans, but it’s broth so it doesn’t really matter.  I love Aldi (if you have one near you I highly recommend shopping there for your pantry staples!).  They have a line of products called “Simply Nature” that are generally organic and at least slightly healthier than the usual off the shelf items in the grocery store (and cheaper too).  I go with the low sodium broth because then I can control how much salt I want to add.  I’m not sure why the recipe has you water down the broth (guess it’s cheaper) – I’m sure you could use full strength broth and eliminate the water.
  • Tortellini’s another thing that I haven’t really looked at since I really started monitoring my ingredients (it’s been a while since I got to make this soup!).  I glanced at the back of the package I got at Weis, saw the ingredient list, and just shut my eyes and resolved to move on and let it go 🙂  Next time I make this I’ll have to plan ahead better and see if I can find something at the whole food store that is a little less scary.
  • As for the spinach…you can use baby or regular, it really doesn’t matter.  If you use regular spinach, it’s probably wise to break it into pieces before adding to the soup.  It will wilt and really shrink up, but if the leaves are huge you’ll still be stuck trying to fit them on your spoon when you eat!
  • And..the true fun of this soup – making sure every spoonful has a piece of chicken, a tortellini, a carrot, and a piece of spinach on it (with some broth of course!).  Not only is it a challenge to get them all to stay on together, but then you have to fit it in your mouth without dribbling.  I generally only eat this when I’m alone and have several napkins nearby 🙂
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