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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Soup - It's What's For Dinner

I do love fall in North Carolina.  After a summer of oppressive humidity, the bright fall days bringing cooler temperatures are quite welcome.  I love the colors and scents of fall, too. Autumn also ushers in soup season.

I made one of my family's favorite soups tonight, and I thought I'd share the recipe.  I got it from Todd's mother, because it's one of his favorites, and have made a few modifications.

Here is the original recipe:

Chicken Tortellini Soup
9 oz pckg frozen broccoli
6 cups water
3 - 1.75 oz cans of condensed chicken broth
1 - 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup vermouth or water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
7 oz pckg cheese tortellini
Parmesan cheese, if desired

Directions:
In large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine water, broth, soup, chicken, onions, carrots, vermouth, garlic, basil & oregano.  Bring to a boil & add tortellini.  Reduce heat & simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Add broccoli; simmer 5-10 minutes more until broccoli is tender.  Serve with cheese.

Makes 10 servings, 1/2 C

Notes
I don't know about you, but I have yet to find anything labeled "condensed chicken broth" at the grocery store.  The cans of broth I have (usually Swanson's) specifically say on the label "Do not dilute."  I have diluted them, but I don't think the soup is as tasty.  Tonight, I used 6 cans of chicken broth and 2 cups of vegetable broth.  (I think the 6 cans of broth would have been sufficient, but I didn't look at the labels and assumed that they were 10.75 oz cans instead of 14.5 oz cans and decided I needed extra liquid.  Vegetable broth has a nice flavor.)

I like to add celery to the soup.  I think I added about a cup tonight.  Chicken soup should have celery in it.

I have learned over the years that I am not a huge fan of oregano, so I leave that out and add 1 tsp of basil and approximated 1/2 tsp allspice.  My mother tells me that allspice is a great thing to add to chicken soups, so I do.  I say "approximately," because as I was attempting to measure the allspice over the soup pot, a whole bunch of it dumped onto my half-teaspoon and overflowed into the pot.  I put back what was still on the spoon and called what was still in the pot, good enough.  (I would guess that you are beginning to see why this is not a cooking blog.)

I never have vermouth so I don't put that in.

The best thing about this recipe is that it doesn't ask that you saut√© the vegetables first.  You just dump it all in and boil it.  It's wonderful!  I also love that it has lots of veggies so it can be a one-dish meal.  I wish I had remembered to throw some bread in the bread machine, but I will do that tomorrow when we have the leftovers. :-)

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