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Monday, April 4, 2011

Tortellini Soup

Spring is starting to creep into the Northeast, at last! I was able to bust out my spring coat this weekend, although I paired it with a scarf. Fifty degrees just isn’t warm enough for me yet. Although, I have known many people who would claim that fifty degrees is shorts weather.

Rainbow chard, it's so pretty!
Living in Wisconsin, I met lots of people from the Midwest. I found that the people of the Midwest are of heartier stock than I. The people of Michigan are particularly hearty. Once the mercury would inch up past freezing, my Midwestern friends would break out their shorts and t-shirts. There could still be snow on the ground, but the streets of Madison would be filled with students wearing shorts. Crazy people, all of them.

My rainbow chard looks alive!
I am a fan of pants. It needs to be at least eighty degrees for me to have the desire to put on shorts. For this reason, I own approximately one pair of shorts. Maybe two, I can’t remember. It’s been that long since I thought to put on a pair of shorts. The second problem with shorts is my work environment. Wearing shorts in the lab is just a bad idea, especially for a girl, they just don’t cover nearly enough leg! Plus, it’s always about two degrees in the lab, I’d freeze to death.

So, while I’m enjoying the warmer days, I will still bundle up until the temperature stays at seventy. My winter coat will stay out until May and my shorts will remain in the dresser until July. And I will eat soup all year long, especially this soup.

Stay tuned later this week for that foccacia recipe!

Tortellini Soup
Adapted from Everyday Pasta

I have made this soup a number of times because it is such a quick dinner to put together. With just a little chopping and prepping, you can have dinner on the table for 30 minutes. This is also a very light soup, perfect for spring (and bathing suit season!).

Olive oil
4 ounces pancetta
1 shallot, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
12 ounces cheese tortellini
Black pepper

Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, shallot, pancetta and garlic. Stir and cook until pancetta is crispy. Add beans, Swiss chard and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat to keep soup at a simmer. Add tortellini and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Add freshly cracked black pepper and enjoy!
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