Healthy AND satisfying? Yes. Big on flavor, warming and comforting, this is your soup for a cozy night in. The umami-rich broth pairs well with both white and red wine, and is hearty enough to make a standalone meal. If you happen to have a parmigiano-reggiano cheese rind in the fridge, toss it in the pot while the soup is simmering. This cooking method used by the Italians adds depth of flavor to soups, but isn’t a required addition. You can play with the herb combo if using basil in the wintertime doesn’t suit your taste, substituting rosemary, thyme, or sage.
- 1 large onion peeled and cut into pieces
- 8 garlic cloves peeled
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1 28- ounce can chopped tomatoes or use 2 pounds fresh chopped tomatoes
- 1 pound boiling potatoes cut into small chunks
- 4-5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 10-12 ounce package tortellini
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 bunch spinach or baby spinach washed
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup dried mushrooms
- freshly ground black pepper
- grated parmigiano-reggiano for serving optional use the rind in the soup
Soak the mushrooms in warm water and set aside. Once softened roughly chop them, reserving the soaking liquid.
In a food processor, blend the onion, garlic and herbs with half of the olive oil until finely ground. Warm the remaining olive oil in a large stock pot and saute the onion mixture over medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking if necessary, for 5-8 minutes until softened.
Add the celery and carrots and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and scrape up any bits sticking to the bottom. Stir in the potatoes and the dried mushrooms. Finally add the chicken stock, salt, and any liquid from the mushrooms (leaving the sediment on the bottom of the bowl). Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 50-60 minutes. Add the parmigiano rind now if using.
Stir in the peas, pasta, and spinach, and add more broth if it has reduced too much to adequately cook the pasta. You want the tortellini to be able to be submerged in the liquid. Partially cover and cook another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and some freshly ground black pepper if needed. Remove and discard the cheese rind. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated cheese.
Try with the Prazo de Roriz ’15.