Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini Chicken Soup
I have always loved spinach! It’s so good for you and I enjoy it fresh in salads, cooked in frittatas, lasagnas and many other tasty dishes. The last time I was at the grocery store, I grabbed a few packages of Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini in the pasta aisle. I didn’t really have a plan for it at that moment, but I was hungry and that always leads me to purchase a few “extras” that I didn’t have on my shopping list just because they looked or sounded good.
Even though I’ve been counting down the days until Spring, I am still dealing with a few colds around my house. When the weekend came, yet another pot of soup was on my to do list. I have made so much Chicken Soup this winter, that it had become boring. I decided to change the flavor a little so I added a few different items to this pot to make this week’s soup different.
This Spinach & Ricotta Chicken Soup was such a comforting meal for those of us who have been coughing and sniffling the last few days. This warm, filling soup had a delicious spinach flavor with plenty of tender chicken and creamy tortellini in every bite. A piping hot bowl of this soup by itself is a perfect, satisfying meal on a cold day. Of course, a salad with fresh bread or crackers can be served with this soup as well for a heartier meal.
I always start any chicken soup I make with you guessed it- a chicken! If you haven’t made homemade soup or broth before, I promise you, it’s so simple and you will end up with the most wonderful broth, and moist tender chicken when you are finished.
I add my quartered onions, roughly chopped celery and carrots, smashed garlic, parsley, bay leaf and sea salt & pepper to my dutch oven or stock pot and add a whole chicken. I nestle the chicken right in the middle of the pot, moving a few vegetables to the side if I need to and then fill the pot with fresh, cold water. I cover it and put it on the stove at medium heat. When it comes to a slow boil, I reduce the heat to simmer and let it cook covered for 2 hours. Your house will smell so warm and inviting while this is cooking!
After the 2 hours, you can remove the chicken from the pot, set it on a plate to cool a bit before removing the skin and shredding (it should almost be falling off the bone), strain your broth, chop the carrots, and season the broth with more sea salt to your taste. After straining the broth and removing the fat with a Fat Separator, adding a few handfuls of fresh spinach and the cooked Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini to my pot, dinner was ready and we had plenty of left overs for lunch the next day.
If you want to add a little variety to your next pot of chicken soup, give this yummy recipe a try!
- FOR THE BROTH:
- 1 (4 lb.) fresh whole chicken, rinsed
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped into chunks
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks (reserve carrots after cooked)
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- handful of fresh parsley or 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 3 bay leaves
- sea salt
- FOR THE SOUP:
- shredded chicken
- 2 (8 oz.) packages dry Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini, cooked, drained and rinsed with cold water
- Chopped reserved carrots
- 3 large handfuls of fresh spinach (cut off stems)
- In a large Dutch Oven or stock pot, combine all of the stock ingredients and add 12 cups of water.
- Cover and bring to a low boil on medium heat.
- Once, boiling, turn the heat to simmer and allow to cook for 2 hours, or until the chicken is starting to fall off of the bone.
- Turn off the heat, and carefully remove the chicken from the pot to a plate to cool a bit before removing the skin and shredding by hand or with a fork.
- Remove the carrots and set aside to chop.
- Strain the broth over another pot or large bowl.
- Discard the onions, celery and parsley.
- If you wish, you can place the broth in the refrigerator to cool and then scrape the fat off of the top or you can run the broth through a fat separator.
- Return the broth to the pot, season with more sea sat if needed and remain heating on low.
- Add the fresh spinach, chopped carrots, shredded chicken and cooked tortellini, cover and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and serve hot.
- Serves 6-8.
- *To freeze, let the soup cool completely and store in a freezer friendly container or bag.
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