Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chicken Tortellini Cream Soup: a Simple Post-holiday Meal

Well, the holidays are ending and the normal routines of work and home are just around the corner. Looking back on the last week or two, I think I hit a record high with regard to the post-holiday exhaustion. So in the last few days, I have been thinking about how I can make next Christmas just as special for my family without almost killing myself. Yeah well... we shall see how that goes next year.

In the meantime, I am detoxing from the holidays by keeping it simple, and that includes food. A great, simple meal I have now made twice is a chicken torellini soup that is put together with just a few prepared foods but tastes like it is completely from scratch. In actuality, it was a turkey tortellini soup the first time around, with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. But this recent version was made with rotisserie chicken from the grocery store which makes it easy to do any time of the year. I truly believe that some of the best recipes are made with the fewest ingredients, and this is no exception. Ingredient list: rotisserie chicken, olive oil, garlic, leeks, tortellini, chicken broth and cream. So easy and delicious! Wegmans (the best grocery store on the planet) sells a fresh whole wheat three cheese torellini that is to die for, but you can use any tortellini or mini ravioli in this recipe. You can also lighten this recipe up by using fat free half and half instead of the heavy cream, but the cream makes this soup so rich... to me, it's worth the extra fat.

You can whip this soup up quickly on a busy work night and it will seem like you have slaved for hours. And the best thing for the three of us, is that it makes plenty to have again the next day.

Chicken Tortellini Cream Soup

2 T olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 rotisserie chicken, meat cut into cubes
1 pkg. fresh tortellini (if using dried, pre-cook and add last)
1/2 to 2/3 cup heavy cream
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese (topping)

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven and saute leeks and garlic until soft. Add chicken stock, chicken and tortellini and cook without boiling until totellini is al dente. Stir in desired amount of cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Top each individual bowl with grated cheese.

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