Monday, February 20, 2012

Slow Cooking Supper: Tortellini Minestrone Soup

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The winter here in New York has been good to me thus far; I don't want to jinx it but I'm beginning to believe that spring is in my sights.  However, there are nights when you realize, yes, it is still February--the biting wind and cold nights makes a soup like this the perfect dinner.  It's not a fast dinner by any means, and it takes time, which means it's probably a perfect Sunday night dinner (when you can devote a little more time and attention to dinner).

I won't lie to you--there is a lot of cutting and dicing in this recipe.  Mom likes to do it all at once early in the morning.  I, on the other hand, like to incorporate some of these vegetables throughout the week and chop up extra.  The extra goes into zipped plastic bags and then I can just dump them in when the soup calls for them.  If you have a helper in the kitchen that's good with a knife (like John is), then pawn some of it off on them and get going on some other tasks!  It is your Sunday after all.

I was torn on this recipe.  I love it, but it is so involved, too involved, I think to really classify as a dinner I would make often.  But then, I took the leftovers to work one day.  People are still getting to know me there and the truth is, there are very few people to connect with and feel comfortable enough to share your obsession with food!  One woman walked by my desk and asked where I bought the soup from; when I told her I had made it she said, you MADE that?!  But it smells so good.  Ah, the life of a food blogger...if only she knew.

That was the moment when I knew I would be foolish not to share this recipe with you.  It's a once a winter dish that everyone can't wait to have.  Double the batch and freeze half so you can look forward to it again when you need a quick dinner.
Tortellini Minestrone Soup
Serves:  6
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 cup diced zucchini
1 1/2 cups green beans, chopped
3 cups shredded cabbage
5 cups of chicken stock
5 cups water
1 35-ounce can plum tomatoes
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2-inch rind of Parmesan cheese
1 pound cheese-stuffed tortellini
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Heat olive oil in crockpot over medium heat (if your crockpot can be heated on the stovetop, if not do this in a large pan).  Add the onions and saute for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Add potatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Continue sauteeing each vegetable 2-3 minutes: green pepper, then zucchini, and finally green beans.  When all the vegetables haave been added to the pot, move the pot into the crockpot container.  Stir in the cabbage and cook 5 minutes.  Add the stock, water, tomatoes with their juices, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.  Nestle the Parmesan rind in the middle of the soup.  Cook on High.  Reduce heat to Low and simmer for 1-2 hours (soup will thicken up).  Fifteen minutes prior to serving, add the tortellini.  Turn the heat to High and cook the tortellini.  Stir the soup often.  Ladle the minestrone into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Until the next time my oven is on...


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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