As you can tell, my kids will eat anything that involves pasta. I guess that small piece of Sicilian ancestry is coming through, or maybe it is just a birthright for growing up in the Northeast of the US? I take my chicken soup that gets lukewarm reviews (annoying since it takes an hour to make) and dump in a bag of tortellini…bamm! It jumps up in the ratings and we get a complaint free dinner for a change!
Definitely try this one, the key is to make a huge pot of homemade broth with veggies and chicken and freeze most of it, keeping only enough for one meal in the refrigerator.
Tip: Don’t add the tortellini until you are ready for dinner, it will only take 3 minutes in the bubbling broth.
Tip: Use the fresh tortellini they have at the market now. It will seem like your own (my favorite is Rana brand). Who has time to make fresh pasta? I am dedicated, but not crazy.
Package of chicken wings
Large split breast
8 celery stalks
2 medium onions
Fresh herbs wrapped in cheese cloth (parsley or dill or thyme or rosemary or any combination)
Large bag of tortellini for each portion of soup (you should have enough for 1 family meal and you can buy a couple more bags when you thaw the leftover broth)
Salt to taste (start slow with salt, add 2 tsp for a large pot of broth, and then taste as you go. Soup can taste like dirty dish water under seasoned but if it is too salty there is no turning back!)
Put the chicken wings and breasts in a large stock pot (I clean them first under water).
Trick: I add chicken wings to the broth as I was told they have a lot of collagen which adds flavor to the broth. If you like wings you could reserve the chicken wings once you strain the broth, and slap on some hot sauce I would guess – I am not a fan of wings myself, but I am sure that would work.
Then add 1 of the carrots, celery and onions very coarsely chopped into the pot with the fresh herbs. Cover everything with water, putting enough to go a couple of inches higher than the chicken. Bring this to a bowl over Med-high heat. Once it is boiling, squeeze in the lemon and skim the top after (the lemon will clear away most of the residue that foams up to the top but you can use a gravy ladle to get the rest). Turn the heat down to med-low once it reaches a boil and simmer it all for 45 mins – 1 hour. While it is simmering, stir occasionally and dice the remaining carrot, celery and onion to small pieces.
Strain everything out of the stock pot mixture by pouring into another large pot with a colander or metal pasta strainer inserted over the second pot. Return the broth to the burner and put on Med-High. Add the veggies and cook on a boil for 10 minutes. While they are cooking, cool off the breasts and pull apart or cut the white meat into small chunks and throw in the soup. Once the veggies are soft you can add the tortellini, and some fresh parsley to the soup (and/or dill) and boil for another 3 minutes (or whatever the tortellini directions state). Ready to dig in!
tortellini chicken soup
Tip: I hold back some of the meat and make sandwiches to serve with the soup on whole grain toast or large wheat rolls with butter, great for dipping into the soup.