Rustic Tortellini and Pesto Soup (Serves 6-8, takes about 1 hour total to make)
This is a vegetarian dish, but you could always add some leftover rotisserie chicken. It’s very easy, one of those chop-and-drop recipes. It’s hearty enough to warm you up in the winter, but light enough to keep your calories in check.
Extra virgin olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
12 bouillon cubes or 12 tsp of chicken paste
12 cups water
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 container store bought, refrigerated basil pesto
1 8 ounce bag fresh spinach
1 large package of refrigerated cheese tortellini (or similar brand)
2 cups frozen peas
1. Heat up a Dutch oven on medium with a little olive oil in the pan. Add the onion and some salt and cook until it’s translucent. Add the garlic, turn the heat down a little so you don’t burn it. Cook until you can smell the garlic.
2. Add the tomatoes, bouillon, water, oregano, and thyme. Bring up to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Add the spinach and pesto. Stir to incorporate. Cook on medium-low (level 3) for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.
4. Add the package of tortellini and the frozen peas. Bring up to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes (until the tortellini is done). If the soup looks too thick, you can add a some water until it looks thick enough. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of my big pots handy available at the time that could fit this soup! I thinned mine out, but I just happened to take the picture before that.
5. Remove from heat. Serve and top with the Parmesan cheese, if desired.***
***Here is the best way to buy Parmesan cheese: Buy it in large wedges instead of buying it already grated. First of all, you can leave it wrapped for a while until you’re ready to use it. I cut it into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks, and pop in into my food processor fitted with a blade. Then I just pulse it until it’s grated.