Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Only the pure of heart can make a good soup.- Ludwig Van Beethoven

Well, I don’t know exactly what Ludwig means by “pure of heart”, but I’m going to go with it. And I make a pretty good soup, so it must be true. Actually, I make several good soups, one of which is my cure-anything chicken noodle soup.

It’s been requested many times by many people. When the Marine was courting his Sunshine, she became ill with the flu. He called me from school and asked if I would make it so he could take it over to her and be the hero. Apparently, it must work as a love potion, too.

Friends and neighbors have told me my chicken noodle soup has worked when nothing else ever has. It was all I could do to remain modest, aww shucks. However, I offer it up even to this day and its never turned down.

After all that talk, you probably think we’re going to make chicken noodle soup today. Well, you would be wrong. Today, we are going to make Rustic Tortellini Soup. What a yummy soup to start off the cooler weather. And by cooler weather, I mean those two or three days last week when Mother Nature tricked us into believing summer was really over. Oh, she’s a hoot, that Mother Nature.

For this soup, these are the ingredients you’ll need:


3 links of Italian turkey sausage
1 chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 (or 2, like me) can diced tomatoes
2 cans chicken broth (they’re hiding behind the spinach)
9oz pkg three cheese tortellini
6 oz bag fresh spinach, chopped
3/4 tsp fresh or 2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
dash hot pepper flakes



IMG_1878  I always chop my own garlic, because I love the smell of fresh garlic, but using it out of the jar is perfectly acceptable, too. Here’s a little kitchen fyi for you, when your hands smell like onion or garlic, if you sprinkle them with salt before washing them, the smell will come off. Personally, I love when my hands smell like garlic, it means I’m cookin something good!





Then chop your onion and add it to the pot. Take the casings off the sausage links before adding it to the pot, making it easier to crumble. Cook all of that over a medium heat until the sausage is fully cooked and the onions are tender. MMmm, it smells good in here now!

If you prefer regular Italian sausage, by all means, go for it. It’s really good that way, too. This recipe is lower in fat and calories by using the turkey sausage. And my friend, Jenny, she likes lower fat and calories.



Once your turkey is browned, add the 2 cans chicken broth, and 1 3/4 cups of water and the can (or two) of diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil.



Add the package of tortellini and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes. That gives you time to chop the spinach.




You don’t have to chop the spinach real small, just coarsely chop. Add that, along with the basil, pepper and pepper flakes to the pot. I have used fresh basil and dried basil. I like it either way. The red pepper flakes give it just a hint of a zip.

Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes for the spinach to wilt and then you’re ready for dinner!





Sprinkle with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese, serve with garlic bread and a nice garden salad and Ta-da!  Dinner in less than 30 minutes. This soup heats up well the next day, too.

The next time I’m called upon to make chicken noodle soup, I’ll document it. Maybe. If I show all of you how to make my cure-everything chicken noodle soup, you won’t need me anymore. And I’m not that pure of heart.

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