Tag Archives: easy soup recipes

Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup

Tortellini Soup - From NanaBread to You, With Love


I just love this recipe. It’s quick, easy, flavorful and satisfying. A friend shared it with me in the early 1990’s when we were working on a church cookbook and I’ve been making it ever since. She made hers with ground beef and beef broth, but I prefer this lighter chicken version.

Ingredients List:

1 rotisserie chicken (plain) from your grocer’s deli
1 32-oz. carton of organic chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15-oz. can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 9-oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 10-oz. package of cheese tortellini (refrigerated or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon of McCormick’s Montreal Steak seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
pinch of dried oregano and basil
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
parmesan cheese & chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley, for garnish

Place the rotisserie chicken in a large heavy-bottomed pot and pour in the carton of chicken broth. Cover and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly heated and begins to fall apart. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and allow it to cool until you can chop it without burning yourself. Strain the chicken broth to remove any kibbles and bits and return it to the pan. If needed, add a cup or two of water to create more broth. (May be necessary if your broth simmers too long and/or reduces too quickly.)

Over medium heat, bring the broth back to a simmer. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes and seasonings. If you like a little spice, throw in that pinch of red pepper flakes. While that simmers, bone the chicken and chop it into bite-size pieces. If you’re feeding a crowd, use all of the chopped chicken. If you’re not, use half the chicken and save the rest for chicken salad tomorrow night. Return the chopped chicken to the pot. Add the spinach and tortellini. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. Taste to see if it needs additional salt and pepper. I also like to taste one of the tortellini to make sure they’re done. If you like your soup on the thicker side, combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and whisk until smooth; stir into the soup.

To serve, spoon into bowls and top with chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese. A great loaf of crusty bread is the perfect side to this soup.

Substitutions:
1. make with beef broth and ground beef (my friend’s version)
2. use cheese, spinach, or meat tortellini – your choice
3. use mini-ravioli instead of tortellini
4. leave out the tomatoes for a clear broth (great for colds)
5. substitute the pasta of your choosing for the tortellini
6. substitute browned Italian sausage for chicken or beef
7. substitute fresh spinach, kale or other favorite greens

Helpful Hint:
Prepping early can save a ton of time! Simmer your chicken in broth in advance. Strain the broth and store in airtight containers until needed (fridge for 2-3 days/freezer for 2-3 weeks). Bone and chop the chicken and refrigerate or freeze separately from the broth. If you prep these 2 things in advance, you can make this soup in under an hour. Just place the frozen broth in a pan and heat to simmering. Add the chicken and other ingredients, except for the parsley and parmesan. Heat until thoroughly warmed, season to taste, and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese. See? I told you it was easy.

Go make this soup. You know you want to.

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Tom Yum Goong Soup

Tom Yum Goong Soup - Overhead

If you’re not familiar with Thai food, you’re probably scratching your head wondering who this Tom Yum guy is and how he got so lucky as to be born with the last name Yum. What a great last name that would be! Or am I the only foodie here who thinks so? In this case, it’s not a guy, it’s a soup. A delicious, satisfying, belly warming Thai soup that’s not only good, but good for you. And did I mention that it’s exceptionally tasty? Well it is. And as if it couldn’t get any better, it’s also easy to make. Oh, and one last bonus – this soup is excellent if you have a cold or the flu. It will warm your tummy, open your sinuses, and cure what ails you better than any canned chicken noodle soup. Promise.

Authentic recipes for Tom Yum soup call for some exotic ingredients, but don’t let that throw you. This version substitutes more common ingredients you can use instead, so you won’t have to make excuses not to make this and you won’t have to scour the planet for those hard-to-find ingredients. So you HAVE to make it. Why? Because I said so! Okay, how about because it’s delicious.

This recipe makes two large bowls if you’re serving it as a main dish, or 4 smaller bowls if you’re serving it before a main course.

Here’s what you’ll need:
12 ounces of good quality chicken broth
12 ounces of water
2 tablespoons of Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger, divided
1 tablespoon of lemon grass paste (produce aisle)
2 fresh limes, juiced
2 thinly sliced pieces of lime rind (1″ x 1/2″ each)
1 pound of fresh, raw shrimp (heads off, shells on)
1/4 cup of smoked pork tenderloin, julienned
1/4 cup green scallion tops, roughly chopped
6 button mushrooms, thinly sliced (or straw mushrooms)
1 teaspoon of Asian hot chili paste, or to taste
1 teaspoon of Sriracha hot chili sauce, or to taste
1 pinch of dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt, to taste
1 single-serve package of soba noodles (optional)
fresh cilantro & lime wedges for garnish

Start by peeling your shrimp; keep the shells for the broth and set the peeled shrimp aside. In a saucepan, combine the chicken broth and water. Add the fish sauce, sugar, garlic, 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, lemongrass paste (or a few short pieces of lemongrass if you can find it), the juice of 2 limes, the slices of lime peel, and the shrimp shells. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Using a strainer and a heat-proof bowl, strain the mixture into the bowl. Dump the chunks and shells into the trash or compost bin, and pour the strained broth back into the saucepan. Return the broth to the stove and turn the heat to medium.

To your strained broth, add the pork tenderloin, scallions, the remaining tablespoon of fresh ginger, and the mushrooms. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peeled shrimp. Now here’s where your personal preference comes into play. I like my Tom Yum soup hot. Spicy hot. Nose running and lips burning hot. So I add one teaspoon of ground chili pepper paste, one teaspoon of Sriracha sauce, and a good pinch of dried red pepper flakes (the kind you’d sprinkle on pizza). In fact, if you look at that photo of the soup, you’ll see a red ring around the edge of the bowl. That’s from all the chili sauce I put in my soup. When I say this soup will warm your tummy and open your sinuses, I mean it. I’m not playing when it comes to heat. If you like it hot, go for it. Just remember that the chilies will bloom a little once they heat up, so don’t go too crazy at first. Add a little and wait. Then taste and add a little more and wait, and keep tweaking until you have your perfect level of heat. If you’re not a fan of hot and spicy, just add a small pinch of red pepper flakes for flavor and leave it at that. Finally, sample your soup and add salt to taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with fresh cilantro (optional if you’re not a cilantro fan, but I love it). You can also place a lime wedge on the side of each bowl for those who want to add more zip. And that’s it! Hot, brothy, shrimpy, fabulous Tom Yum Goong soup in about 30 minutes. Prepare to be amazed at how easy this is to make, and how much flavor is packed into each bowl. It’s perfect for sick days, rainy days, or “I just need a bowl of soup” days. Tom Yum is my new favorite “makes me feel better” soup for any kind of day.

Note: if you don’t like shrimp, you can easily substitute thinly sliced chicken breast, smoked pork tenderloin, fish, crab or tofu. You can also throw in more of your favorite Asian veggies like baby bok choy and bean sprouts. I like to throw in a small package of soba noodles, which I don’t think is traditional, but it’s… well, it’s noodles! Trust me – it’s all good. Mmmm, mmmm good. Sop it up with a roll good. To the last drop good. You get the picture.

Tom Yum Goong Soup - CloseUp

This recipe was adapted from The Thai Kitchen’s version of Tom Yum Soup.

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