Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Toni's Tortellini Soup

I originally had another meal planned for dinner tonight.  But, for some reason, I just couldn't bring myself to make it when I got home.  Whether it was because I stood in the rain for 5 hours last night watching a college football game or the fact that it has been cold, gray and rainy all day today, I just needed some warming comfort food.

Whenever  I'm sick or on a dank, dreary night like this, the only thing I want for dinner is the soup my grandmother ("Toni" when my cousins and I are being Cheeky Little Beggars) used to make when I was growing up.  

We start with a can of chicken broth.  Traditionally, my grandmother would make this soup the day after Thanksgiving after boiling the turkey carcass to make the broth.  Because I don't roast a whole turkey on a regular basis (which is sad), I have found that a dash of nutmeg added to regular canned chicken broth really emulates that roast turkey essence.  If you have an aversion to nutmeg, by all means you can leave it out.  This will still be a salty and heartwarming bowl of soup.

Once the broth comes to a boil, add in 1/2 cup of Tortellini and 1/4 cup of a Pastina (small pasta) like Tubettini, Stars or - as in today's case - Alphabets.  When we were kids, I would trade my Tortellinis for my cousin Sara's Tubettinis since I wasn't really a fan of the texture of the large, floppy Tortellini and she'd rather have a bowl full of Tortellini than waste space on the Tubettini.  But ever since Barilla started making their delicious little dried Tortellinis, I enjoy that part of the soup as much as the small noodles.

Simmer the soup for 5 - 7 minutes until the the pasta is cooked al dente. 

When the pasta is cooked, top your bowl of soup with plenty of grated parmesan cheese.  Don't bother splurging on the fresh stuff, the Kraft is the way to go in this case.  

Yum! I feel better already.  Time to watch Hallmark Hall of Fame's version of The Secret Garden and build some card houses to complete my trip back in time and space to Toni's family room in Long Island. 

Shopping List for Toni's Tortellini Soup (makes one large serving or two small one)
  • 1 Can Chicken Broth
  • Scant Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Barilla Dried Tortellini
  • 1/4 Cup Your Choice Small Pasta
  • Parmesan Cheese

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