Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

 I am not a food blogger. There are so many wonderful food bloggers out there who have incredible recipes and even more incredible photography.

That is not me.

That being said, I'm going to post about food today. I even took pictures.

I make this soup often. The kids love it. I don't have a recipe for it. It came to me via a friend of mine named Amy Sapp. Amy is a great cook. She's the type of cook who doesn't use recipes. In 1992 when we first moved here, Amy and her husband invited us over to their married student housing apartment. She made us this soup. When I asked her for the recipe she said, "Oh, I don't really have one. I just kinda do this and that."

Well, I've used her 'this and that' for years and I thought I'd pass it along to you. Maybe your family will love it as much as ours does.

Look! A cast of characters just like the real bloggers use. By the way, do people really get out all their ingredients before they cook? Do you? I don't, but I did this time just for you.

Soup Ingredients
One pound hamburger.
One 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes.
Two 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce. It was all I had. You can use one bigger can.
48 oz. of chicken broth.
Green beans.
Cheese Tortellinis.
Other things that I forgot in this picture that we will get to later.

Brown hamburger with some onion and fresh garlic. Yeah, I know, I forgot them in the picture above but I'm still new at this. I used a half of a large onion and two cloves of garlic. I also added some freshly ground pepper.

After hamburger is brown add chicken broth, tomato sauce and tomatoes.

This looks a little sad and boring to me.

It needs a little spice. I used about a teaspoon of pesto, because I had it, a 1/2 tsp. of oregano and about 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seed. There, so much better now.

Now it's time for the vegetables. Another thing I forgot in my cast of characters picture.
Wash up and dice three carrots, two stalks of celery (leaves and all) and some green beans. I think I had about two cups of beans.

Throw them into the spicy broth and tomato mixture, put the lid on the pot and let it heat up. When it boils, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let all the vegetable delciousness simmer for about a half hour or so.

While that is going on, brew a cup of Bengal Spice tea, add a little milk to it and give yourself a mini personal retreat in a cup.  You can also grab a couple of French loaves that were on sale at your local grocery and take a picture.

 Just like that.

Then, if you have a sister named Brenda, like I do, you can use her trick for making cheese bread. By the way, my children think my sister Brenda is the best cook in the world and she very well might be. She is a great cook. After her, my kids put my other sister Mary Jane, my mom and then me. As their mother I think knowing where I rank in the order of the world's greatest cooks is very important.

I used four tablespoons of butter and some freshly grated parmesean cheese. I would guess I used 1/4 cup.

Using a fork, mash the cheese into the butter. I didn't do this, but you could also sprinkle some garlic powder into the cheese and butter mixture.

Slice the bread, spread the butter/cheese mixture onto your slices and then line them up. Grab some tin foil, place the loaf onto the foil and then wrap up the bread, nice and safe. I baked my loaves for about 20 minutes on 400 degrees.

When your vegetables have simmered for about a half hour throw in your tortellini. I bought the refrigerated variety because I think they taste the best, but I've used the frozen and dried variety as well. It depends where I am when I grocery shop. I happened to buy these at my Super Wal-Mart but if I had been at my local grocery, I would have probably used the frozen variety as they don't carry the fresh. Whatever kind you buy, check the package for how long the pasta needs to boil.


I threw my tortellini into the pot the same time as I put my cheese bread into the oven. They both needed about 20 minutes.

Twenty minutes? What to do, what to do. You could get a quick workout in. You could turn up some music and dance around the kitchen. You could read a few chapters of your current favorite book or you could do what I did - vacuum. I live on the edge that way.

So, after twenty minutes check the pot. Do the veggies look tender? Does the tortellini seem soft enough? Are your children driving you crazy asking if supper is ready? Yes? Okay. It's time to eat.

Holler for everyone to gather. Have one of the kids set the table. Don't forget the milk and the hot pad for the soup pot. Does anyone know where the soup ladle is? No, the dog cannot come in. She'll just sit and beg and it drives me crazy. Can someone please grab the cheese bread out of the oven?

Hold hands. Thank God for the day and that everyone is here even if Farmer Boy has been a bit grumpy.





  1. Looks good! You could even add in a splash of red wine for more flavor. And for wine to drink before, during and/or after dinner.

  2. Looks good Kris... and I think that you are a good cook as well...don't sell yourself short


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