Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tortellini Soup

I mentioned this soup in my meal planning post for this week, and a commenter asked about it. I will include both the original recipe and how I changed it.

Betty Crocker's Money Saving Meals
Tortellini Soup
2 T butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 cups of water
2 extra large vegetable bouillon cubes
2 1/2 cups dried cheese-filled tortellini (10 oz)
1 T fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper
In a Dutch oven, saute the celery, carrot, onion and garlic in the butter, until crisp tender.
Stir in water and bouillon. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and stir in tortellini. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until tortellini are tender.
Stir in parsley, nutmeg and pepper. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
(5 servings, 280 calories each)

What I did:
I realized I didn't have carrots, so I sauteed a bunch of celery (4-5 stalks), onion, garlic (more than it says, of course) in olive oil non-stick spray. I added the water and chicken bouillon (Herb Ox) flavoring. Since I didn't have carrots I also added a can of diced tomatoes and its liquid. Once it was boiling, I added an 8.8 oz package of Aldi's cheese filled tortelloni (is that the same thing as tortellini?) with Porcini mushroom filling. I am not very familiar with using nutmeg in a savory dish, and I wasn't sure how it would work since I added the tomatoes. Instead I used dried parsley and dried Italian seasoning, which I added when I was simmering the broth.
(Yield about 6 servings, about 188 calories each- leftovers were excellent)

This was very good and I will probably making it again. I would like to add cabbage another time and use carrots as well. I'll have to decide whether I want to stick with the recipe's seasonings or use the Italian flavors. The soup was filling, but since there were fewer tortellini per serving than the original recipe called for, it comes in at fewer calories per serving (about 185). The nutrition facts on the package of tortelloni listed 2 servings at 400 calories each. Putting it in soup, where we could certainly taste and enjoy it with the other flavors, cut down on the calories per serving (and the cost per serving) significantly.

Soup season is coming to a close (though that doesn't really stop me from making it on days that aren't too hot) and I have been enjoying making some new recipes and some favorites. Soups make it easy to cut the calories and still be filled up with vegetable and beans and other good things. There's something good, comforting and filling about a bowl of soup.

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