Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Southern Tortellini Soup

I was in Atlanta recently for a conference, and one night, I ordered a bowl of Southern Minestrone soup. It was delightful: a broth-based soup with navy beans, carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, collard greens, and garlic. I came away determined to make my own version at home. Unfortunately, I was completely out of beans (which almost NEVER happens in this house), and I didn't want to go to the store for one item, so instead, I made a Southern Tortellini Soup. Y'all, this is just plain delicious. I may never make the minestrone version because this soup is so darn addicting. And like most of my soups, it's totally versatile. I had used up my collard greens, but I had two different types of flat kale, so I cut that up and used in this soup. So good. Go ahead, make a pot today. My one warning is this: all pasta loves liquid, so if you don't eat this all, be warned that when you wrap it up and put in your fridge, you will not have any liquid left the next day, so be prepared to add more chicken broth and a little more lemon or lime juice.

Southern Tortellini Soup
1-2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
Herbs de Provence
Two bunches collard greens, kale or chard, stems removed and greens chopped
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
3/4 cup white wine (I used Madeira)
12 oz. dried tortellini pasta
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

1. In a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Saute until onions are translucent, but not brown. Add the herbs and red pepper flakes and stir for another 2 minutes.

2. Add the wine and turn the heat up to high. Cook wine down until it has reduced by half. Add the stock, water and greens. Bring to a boil; add the pasta. Bring back to a boil; turn heat down to medium-high. Cook for 15-18 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

3. Remove from heat and add lemon or lime juice. *Don't skip this step - this is one of the best things you can do to a broth-based heightens all those flavors!

4. Enjoy!

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