The last meal prep of 2020! I can’t believe we’re finally here, if I’m honest. But I am glad that I’m ending the year with a fantastic prep.
I made a whole chicken for Christmas dinner even though there were only three of us, so now I’m going to be using up the rest of it and that started with this soup. While I went all out and did the most for this soup, you can absolutely make this with store bought chicken stock and with whatever veggies and pasta you’ve got on hand! I’ll have a list of options at the bottom of the post.
So, on Saturday, I made my chicken stock from the Christmas chicken! I got all the meat off of the bones as I could then threw the bones into my dutch oven along with an onion, quartered, some cloves of garlic, poultry herbs, pepper corns, and salt. I didn’t peel the onion since the skin gives a beautiful color to the stock. Then I added enough water to cover everything and brought it up to a boil, then down to a simmer for 6-8 hours. I gave it a stir every so often and if too much liquid evaporated I added some more water. At the end of it, just carefully strain it and store for a couple of days, or freeze for future you!
Then, on Sunday, it was soup day! I’ve got the recipe I used below, but here’s all of the components with some substitution options:
- the base vegetables: I used 2 stalks celery, a couple of carrots, and an onion, which is a very traditional combo. you can definitely add other root vegetables here, anything that would take about as long to cook as those. these all get cooked up first to get a bit of color and give them a head start so they’re fully cooked by the time the soup is done
- additional veg: think of these as other veg you want to use that don’t need to cook quite as long as the base veg. I used some red bell pepper and frozen spinach, but you can use just about anything!
- spices: I used poultry herbs since that’s what I had, but you can use anything! think about what flavor profile you want from your soup and go from there. you’ll definitely want to use some salt, but go light with it at first in case your stock is pretty salty. you can always add more!
- stock: obviously I used homemade chicken stock, but again, whatever you’ve got works! you can also use veg stock and leave out the meat to make this vegetarian, or even vegan
- meat: you can put in any kind of pre-cooked meat you want to use up! did you make a ham or turkey for the holiday? throw that in instead of the chicken!
- tortellini: I love a bit of pasta in a soup, and you can use whatever you want! add it at the end and cook until just done. you might need to add a bit of extra stock or water, depending on what kind of pasta you use
- heavy cream: totally optional, but I love the flavor it brings to the party. it makes the soup a bit creamy and delicious
That’s it! Below is the recipe, but make any substitutions you want for a totally customizable soup 🙂
Chicken Tortellini Soup
makes 5-6 servings
- 2 stocks celery
- 2-3 carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 bell pepper
- 5-6 cups chicken stock
- 4 oz frozen spinach
- 1.5-2 cups shredded chicken
- 2 tbsp poultry herbs
- 1 package tortellini
- 1/4 C heavy cream (optional)
How to do it
- prep the veg: cut the celery, carrots, onion, and bell pepper into small pieces. also finely mince the poultry herbs
- start the veg: in a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the celery, carrots, onion, and salt for 5-7 minutes until they’re starting to soften. Add the bell pepper and poultry herbs, continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes
- add the frozen spinach, chicken, and chicken stock to the pot. cook at a simmer (you’ll need to reduce the heat after a bit) for 10-15 minutes
- check for doneness and seasoning: check the vegetables in the soup and see if they’re done to your liking or not. if not, continue cooking. also check the broth for seasoning at this point – you may need some more salt depending on stock you used.
- finish the soup: once the veg are cooked, throw in the tortellini and cook for 3-4 minutes. finish with the heavy cream, if using, and enjoy!