Wednesday, October 14, 2009

soup’s on!

With Fall here and the weather quite chilly, I find myself making soup almost daily for supper. I love that you can make a seriously hearty, chunky soup with as few as 6 or 7 basic items from your pantry and freezer and toss it all into a crock pot where it can simmer all day so you don't have to fuss with it or even think all that much about it until it's supper time. Soup is also incredibly easy to make more or less of, without having to vastly increase your ingredients, which comes in especially handy since I am very often feeding several of my teenage son's friends along with my own mass of hungry hordes. We very often go through about 8 quarts of soup in a single sitting without even trying and we rarely have leftovers. My favorites these days are Beef & Barley, Chicken Tortellini, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Chicken Noodle, Hamburger Soup, and Cabbage Patch soup. I have also been making the 'Italian Hot Rolls' every night to go with our meals since they are the perfect combination with a good hot soup on a chilly Fall day, and my family loves hot fresh baked rolls anyways. I ran out of parmesan cheese earlier this week so I have been making the rolls without it, and sometimes omitting the garlic salt and just using 1 tsp. of salt instead, with the same excellent results. Those hot rolls are so good any way you make them, and I love that I can get them on the table fairly quickly from start to finish. Here is my basic Chicken Tortellini recipe, which has long been a favorite, and even converted my previously soup hating husband over to my soup loving ways.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

1 large onion diced

2 cups carrots sliced or diced

1 heaping cup celery, sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 TBSP. olive oil

3-4 quarts chicken broth (either canned or homemade is fine)

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. thyme

2 bay leaves

Pepper to taste

2 (9-11 oz.) pkgs. frozen cheese tortellini

In a large stock pot, saute the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add the broth, chicken, salt, thyme, bay leaves and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes to let flavors blend. About 10 minutes before serving, add the frozen tortellini, and cook until they are done, or float to the top. Remove bay leaves before serving. Enjoy!

*all ingredients can be increased or decreased  as you like, this soup is easy to fiddle with as needed.

(pictures courtesy of Google)

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