As I mentioned in my last post (thanks for all your thoughts, BTW - very interesting!), I do use convenience items sometimes. Working full time outside the home and being in charge of a whole lot of snow removal lately, there are days when I just get started on dinner at 7:30 or 8 and I want a warm, home cooked meal in a hurry. This tortellini soup definitely fits the criteria. It uses a couple of prepackaged items and comes together in about a half hour, even though it tastes like a soup that's been simmering all afternoon.
(adapted from Betty Crocker's Fix-It Fast Family Favorites)
1 (0.9 oz.) envelope vegetable soup mix
5 cups water
2 small carrots, sliced thinly
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 tsp. olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 cups frozen beef tortellini
grated parmesan (optional)
In a large pot, mix together vegetable soup mix, water and sliced carrots. Cover and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, rinse spinach thoroughly and spin in salad spinner to remove excess water. Chop roughly.
Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add spinach and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is just wilted, stirring often.
Add cooked spinach to boiling soup mixture.
Add frozen tortellini and bring back to a boil. Cook 10-15 minutes until tortellini is tender.
Spoon into bowls and top with grated parmesan, if desired.
(This also makes for great leftovers the next day - just leave the parmesan off until you're ready to serve the soup.)