Thursday, November 15, 2012

Italian Chicken Soup with Tortellini

I love winter.

Except the part where it's cold.

And when it gets dark at like 5:30.

And then I feel like crawling into my bed, under my big fluffy covers, at like 6:15.

Where was I?

Oh.  Right.  What I love about winter.  Let's keep this simple.

1. Holidays.
2. Soup.

And that brings me to this.  Soup.  The cream and fresh herbs added at the end just really make this soup.

It's really wonderful.  I love it when my kitchen smells like an Italian kitchen.  There's just no way to describe the punch of flavor the garlic-and-herb-infused olive oil gives to this soup.

My husband loved it.  And my kids loved it.

Make the most of winter and make some soup.  Only a few more months before the return of cold salads, fresh fruit and flowers.

Italian Chicken Soup with Tortellini

2 T olive oil
2 onions, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 zucchini, diced
2 T flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 cups chicken stock (use more if you like thinner soup)
28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, not drained
3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (about 2-3 cups chopped chicken)
1 cup heavy cream
20 oz. bag cheese tortellini, cooked according to package directions
1/4 c olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 T minced fresh oregano
3 T minced fresh Italian parsley
3 T minced fresh thyme

Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat the oil in a large pot.  Saute the onions, carrots and celery for about 10 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and zucchini.  Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Sprinkle in the flour and stir to incorporate.  Cook for a minute.  Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.

While the soup simmers, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic, oregano, parsley and thyme.  Turn off the heat immediately and stir for a minute while the garlic and herbs sizzle.

To the soup, add the chicken, cream, tortellini and garlic-herb oil.  Stir well, heat through, and serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

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