I was making another soup recipe lately and I jotted in the margins of the page "soup is circumstantial." And although I don't exactly remember what I was getting at with that recipe (which is still getting tweaked ...), I know what it means when it comes to this soup. This one originally called for mushrooms, which I forgot to buy - so I substituted celery. It also called for frozen spinach. Though I recognize that frozen spinach can be really cool, I'm not that into it, so I used fresh. Don't like carrots? Don't use them. The sky's the limit with this very basic soup.
This tortellini soup (it's from Better Recipes.com and is called Tortellini, Mushroom and Meatball Soup) was brought to a work potluck by my coworker Pat. It's easy and utilizes convenient ingredients, and is a nice change of pace from some of the other soups that I make during winter.
Easy Tortellini Soup
adapted from Better Recipes.com
2 quarts chicken broth
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme (**note on these, I just threw them in the pot as my soup was simmering and then removed the stems when the soup was done cooking.)
1 bay leaf
14-16 frozen prepared meatballs
1 3/4 c. chopped carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
9 oz. frozen or refrigerated, prepared three-cheese tortellini
**Note on the herbs, the original recipe called for 1 tsp. of dried Italian seasoning. I did not have, so I substituted the rosemary, thyme and bay leaf.
Swirl a tablespoon or two of olive oil in the bottom of a large pan over medium high heat. Saute the carrots, celery and onion in the hot oil until the onion is translucent. (Add a little bit of salt, which will help the process). Add the broth, the herbs and the meatballs. Simmer for five minutes. Add tortellini and cook until the pasta is just tender. Wilt spinach into soup, heat through and serve.
As it seems with all soups - this is "meh" the night you serve it, but gets better as the days go on.