Tortellini, Tomato and Spinach Soup

Most weekends, you’ll find us on a Sunday morning perusing recipes and creating a grocery list over coffee and breakfast…. ooo glorious weekends!  We had made a trip Saturday to our favorite Italian grocer on Taylor Street- Conti Di Savoia, for a quick Italian sub for lunch ( aka, the best sandwich EVER no joke).  While were there, we decided to pick up some fresh cheese and porcini tortellinis to have on hand to make a quick dinner.  Well, Sunday we added the ingredients to the following recipe to our grocery list and were happily surprised at how wonderful and satisfying tortellini can be in a soup- who knew?  Normally you’d be prone to tossing a jar of red sauce on them and calling it a night, but this recipe is oh so much better.  You can actually taste the fresh tortelli flavor and a nice bite of fresh veggies plus a kick from teh crushed red pepper flakes, all balanced with a bit of fresh parmesan cheese… this is what you need:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 clove garlic, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 (14-ounce) can low sodium diced tomatoes, with juices
1lb fresh tortellini, cheese or spinach or mushroom
4 ounces fresh baby spinach, sliced in ribbons
Coarse grained salt and cracked black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, very loosely packed
  In a 3-quart soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring often until onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes, stir well for a couple minutes.  Add broth and tomatoes, turn heat up to high, and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes.  Next, add the tortellini and spinach, cook 6 minutes more. Taste, adjusting seasonings with salt and pepper.  Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of Parmesan.

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