Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chicken Tortellini Soup

I was working from home today, which I love to do on occasion because my chairs at home are more comfortable, I don’t have to stand in line to use the microwave, and the bathroom is never closed for cleaning. The main down side (despite my ever-increasing tendency to talk to myself) is that my Internet connection does not like my work laptop, and vice versa. About once every few hours, my laptop is unceremoniously disconnected from the network. In retaliation, my laptop refuses to jump back on to the network without a reboot. A slooooow reboot.

I don’t deal well with idle time, even if it’s 10 minutes. So I try to do something productive when this happens. Run downstairs and throw in a load of clothes. Empty the silverware compartment of the dishwasher (I don’t like doing the other parts). Pick up 37 dog toys. Check my hair for split ends. Count how many rotations the ceiling fan makes per minute. You know, important stuff.

Today I decided to make an eventual pot of soup. Chicken tortellini, because I had everything on hand. So in my first little 10 minutes of downtime, I pulled the chicken and turkey out to thaw (I used a combination; poultry’s poultry, no?), chopped my onion and celery, and put it in the fridge. The next time I chopped my carrots, garlic, and chicken/turkey, and put everything in the fridge. And so on. By this afternoon, I had a beautiful pot of soup bubbling away at the stove, and my Internet connection seemed to settle in for the long haul.

If you’re not dilly-dallying like me, you can throw this soup together in less than an hour, especially if you cut your carrots smaller. (Darn carrots always hold me back.) After you get the ingredients simmering in the pot, this is really a laissez-faire kind of soup. Let it do its thing, check on it occasionally, add some salt and pepper, and it’s ready when you are.

Chicken Tortellini Soup
Serves 6

1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
¼ c. dry sherry
7-8 c. chicken broth1 bay leaf
3-4 c. cooked chicken or turkey, chopped
2-3 c. frozen cheese tortellini
Plenty of salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add veggies, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables just begin to sweat and soften.

2. Add sherry and cook until sherry is almost evaporated.

3. Add chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook about 10 minutes, or until veggies are almost tender.

4. Add chicken and continue cooking another 10 minutes.

5. Add tortellini and cook 5-10 minutes, or until tortellini is heated through. Season to taste.

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