Friday, February 27, 2015

Roasted Tomato, Tortellini, and Spinach Soup

Let me just go ahead and break the ice: IT'S SNOWING! (<--See what I did there? *Snicker*) Oh, good grief. This has been a crazy week for weather here in north Texas. Rain turned to ice on Sunday evening, effectively shutting down the city for all of Monday and most of Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday were cold, but not freezing--and then today, Friday, I went to work and the university sent us home at 10:30 this morning due to snow and rapidly worsening driving conditions!
I've had plenty of quality time to myself this week, which is always delightful--and I've also had some great kitchen time! I made the Turkey Chili Taco Soup again, which is a wonderful, hearty soup for cold weather--and today, I'm trying my hand at something new!
I wanted to make a soup unlike anything else that I've ever made before, and certainly one that would freeze well (because, as we know, cold weather in Texas is *always* temporary). Enter this Roasted Tomato, Tortellini, and Spinach Soup! I bought some tortellini for the first time recently, and decided what to see what I could come up with--this seemed like the perfect foray into using tortellini pasta! (If you're unfamiliar, Tortellini is a round, ring-shaped pasta; usually filled with meat or cheese and typically sold dry or frozen).
I started by oven-roasting some halved Roma tomatoes with a bit of kosher salt, olive oil, and  about nine cloves of garlic at 375. Once roasted, I added them to a pot with some sauteed onion, vegetable broth, then blended it all to make it smooth and finished it with some heavy cream.
Throw in some cooked cheese tortellini and a couple good handfuls of spinach, and you've got yourself a real tasty soup here! : ) I'll admit: I was kind of winging it with this recipe. I combined pieces of other recipes and came up with something that I hoped would be edible and mostly pleasant (this is both). If you have a go-to tomato soup recipe, feel free to use that and add the spinach and tortellini to mix it up!
  • 5-7 Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bulb garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (you can substitute chicken broth)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6-10 ounces cheese tortellini, cooked according to directions (I used about one cup, I think) 
  • 2 cups baby spinach (I used about two handfuls)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • Dried Basil and Italian Seasonings (also to taste)
  • Smoked Paprika (to taste)

Heat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with foil. Place halved tomatoes on baking sheet with garlic cloves and gently coat with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the tomato skins blister and peel off easily. Be sure to flip the tomatoes and garlic after 15-18 minutes of roasting so that they roast evenly. Set aside.

Saute chopped onion in a pot with some olive oil until translucent, then add the tomatoes and garlic. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-20 minutes. Season with salt, crushed red pepper, paprika, basil, and Italian seasonings.
Puree the soup mixture in a blender, or use an immersion blender to puree the mix. Once smooth, add heavy cream and stir, then add cooked tortellini and spinach; heat until spinach wilts. Serve with a slice of crusty bread and garnish with shaved Parmesan or fresh basil.
Nutrition Facts-- Servings: 6-8 Size: 1 cup Calories: 202 • Fat: 7.2 g • Carbs: 27.6 g • Fiber: 2.0 g  Protein: 8.0 g • Sugars: 3.9 g 

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