Summer is almost here and I’ve been in full get back into my “summer body” mode. Which I can’t be alone in this, am I? Very much like the past couple of years, I spend most mornings and/or evenings running/walking as I not only try to get fit, but I’m also preparing for the Peachtree Road Race in July here in Atlanta. It’s only a 10k (6.2 miles), but that’s still a lot in my book. That also means that I spend less time in the kitchen, and when I do, it’s typically a quick meal or big salad. I try to eat less carbs and focus more on wholefoods and lots of raw fruits and vegetables. So you knoooow I must really adore this recipe, if I’m sharing it with you today! 🙂
Anyway, this is another “comfort soup”. It’s a bit creamy, but not too thick. If you want it a little thicker, then add a bit less veggie broth. If you don’t like spinach, then try subbing it with kale. If you don’t like carrots, use butternut squash. I’ve also added in mushrooms and celery in the past, which is a nice touch as well. For this vegetarian recipe, I’ve used cheese tortellini’s, but you certainly can make this soup vegan by using another type of pasta, subbing butter for an oil of your choice, omitting the cheese, and using a non-dairy milk.
Recipe: Serves 3 – 4
5 oz. Cheese Tortellini’s (I used half of a 10 oz. package, which you can freeze and save for later)
3 cups of Raw Spinach (Stems removed and roughly chopped)
3 – 4 cloves of Garlic (minced)
2 – 3 medium Carrots (sliced)
1 medium Onion (diced)
5 cups of low sodium Vegetable Broth/Water (I typically use 4 cups of broth and 1 cup of water)
3 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup of All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
1/2 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1 pinch of Red Chili Flakes
1/2 cup of Half and Half Milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat butter on a low to medium heat and add in carrots and onions. Sauté for about 10 – 15 minutes or until carrots have softened a bit. Then add in garlic, italian seasoning, and red chili flakes and sauté for a couple more minutes. Add flour, coating all the veggies and stir constantly for 2 – 3 minutes. If the bottom of your pan is dry, then you may want to add one more tablespoon of butter because you don’t want the veggies to stick to the bottom of your pot. Slowly pour in your vegetable broth and stir. It will thicken, only slightly. Increase the heat to medium and once your broth comes to a boil, then add in your cheese tortellini’s. Allow them to boil for about 7 – 8 minutes or until they are just about done. Then, reduce heat to low, stir in your half and half milk, parmesan cheese, spinach, and let simmer for a couple more minutes. Add Sea Salt/Ground Black Pepper to taste.
**Note… as your soup cools, your broth will thicken more. Feel free to add a little water to thin it out some.