A Family Favorite

I love soup because you I can throw it all into one pot and serve up a complete meal that everyone loves!  Tasty vegetarian meals are always a plus.  Vegetarian meals are often lower in calories, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.  They are generally cheaper as well!  I got this recipe from a chef that I worked with at Sacred Heart Hospital.  Protein and fiber are provided in the cheese of the tortellini and chickpeas.  You’ll gain at least two servings of vegetables from the carrots and spinach. Peel and chop 6-8 carrots, dice 1/2 an onion, dice 2 stalks celery and finely dice 2-3 cloves garlic.  Gather 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley or 1 tsp dried and 1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage or 1/4 tsp dried. You will also need 1 large bag of frozen cheese tortellini, 1 lb fresh spinach, 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 5 cups fat-free chicken broth, olive oil, salt and pepper and shaved or grated Romano or parmesan cheese for garnish. You’ll need a large pot like this: DSC_3087 In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot and celery.  Sweat until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic.  Sauté about 2 minutes and add chicken broth. DSC_3088 Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Stir in chickpeas, salt, pepper, parsley and sage.  Cook about 5 minutes longer. DSC_3099 Add tortellini and spinach and cook 3-5 minutes longer before serving.  Add 1-2 cups water to pot, reheating after adding, if desired.  Serve topped with shaved Pecorino Romano or shredded parmesan cheese. DSC_3102

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Chickpea & Tortellini Soup
5 cups fat-free chicken broth
Olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
6-8 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp fresh sage, chopped or 1/4 tsp dried
1 lb fresh spinach
1 large bag frozen cheese tortellini
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Romano or parmesan for garnish

In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery. Sweat vegetables until softened. Add garlic. Sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, parsley, sage, salt and pepper to taste. Heat to 140°. Add tortellini and spinach. Simmer 3-5 minutes. Garnish with shaved or shredded Romano or parmesan cheese.
*something you may not know: spinach is packed with vitamins A, K and C.  Leafy greens also contain a powerful punch of folate, iron, fiber, magnesium and calcium!  These nutrients promote good vision, provide antioxidants that prevent cancer, regulate blood pressure and support immune function.  The USDA recommends anyone over the age of 9 eat 1 1/2 – 2 cups of dark green leafy vegetables per week. I have found that kids never complain when I add leafy greens to soups or smoothies.  You can also try sautéing your leafy greens.  This method of cooking provides the greatest preservation of nutrients.  Add lemon zest to brighten the flavor, but not lemon juice, as it will turn your bright green leaves brown. Related posts: Summer TreatsOn the Go!Tuna Melts and TortillasBack to the Grind! More soup recipes: So, is it “mih-nuh-STRO-nee”or “mini-strohn”?Soup for the Soul…Oops! Last Night’s Dinner… If you feel overwhelmed by all the nutrition advice, calorie recommendations and diet trends, read these: Fact. Not Fad.Let’s Crunch Numbers!Help Me To Help You!
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