Minestrone Soup with Cheese Tortellini


Minestrone Soup with Cheese Tortellini |  Homemade Garlic Breadcrumbs


Intro Collage


The first day back after a long holiday weekend is always a bit rocky but especially so at this time of year.  The children can taste summer vacation and even though school will be finished in the next few weeks, these last days are packed with project deadlines and exams.  Here at home today, my energy needed to be directed towards the laundry room rather than the kitchen {four days at a horse show produces the most mind-boggling amount of laundry}.  Oh, by-the-way, Max had a baseball game this evening which meant a late dinner…this Tuesday sure felt like Monday.

This minestrone is probably the easiest dinner I make…basically chopping vegetables and adding some broth {the cheese tortellini ensures that the meal will be filling and satisfying}.  I usually serve this with some type of toasted bread {garlic or herbed Parmesan} but tonight I wanted to keep things light.  Instead of a whole bread I topped each bowl of soup with some Homemade Garlic Breadcrumbs {which I had made before we left on our trip last week}.  They added a nice texture and the hint of garlic bread taste to the soup.  Because of our schedule this afternoon, I prepared the soup, completing steps 1-3 below and then transferred it to a slow-cooker set on LOW.  When we returned home from the baseball game, I added the chopped kale and fresh tortellini, turning the setting on the slow-cooker up to high and cooking until the pasta was cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Minestrone with Cheese Tortellini {adapted from Food52}

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled & chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, trimmed & sliced thinly
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled & chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 {15 ounce} can, cooked chickpeas, preferably organic
  • 1 {28 ounce} can, San Marzano peeled, whole tomatoes, with juice
  • Salt
  • 1 cup kale, chopped fine
  • 1 {9 ounce} package of high-quality, all-natural, fresh, cheese tortellini
  • Homemade Garlic Breadcrumbs for garnish {optional}
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish {optional}
  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion, leek & garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened.
  2. Add the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, and potato; stir for a minute or two.
  3. Add the stock, the chickpeas, and then the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you go.  Add a few generous pinches of salt.   Bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
  5. Add the kale and the tortellini, and continue to cook over a simmer until both are tender and cooked through, 5-7 minutes.  Serve minestrone in individual bowls and top with Homemade Garlic Breadcrumbs {recipe follows} and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Minestrone Collage

Kale Tortellini Collage

Homemade Breadcrumbs {adapted from Alice Waters’, In the Green Kitchen}

  • 2 loaves, crusty artisan bread {a day or two old}
  • Extra-virgin olive oil {1 tablespoon for every 1 cup of breadcrumbs}
  • 4-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Take the bread & remove the crusts.  Cut the remaining bread into cubes.   Process the bread cubes in a food processor in small batches.
  3. To toast the breadcrumbs, toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for every cup of breadcrumbs {my two loaves yielded roughly 8 cups of breadcrumbs so I added 8 tablespoons of olive oil} and sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Spread the breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and bake until golden brown, stirring frequently for even coloring.  When done, remove the breadcrumbs from the oven to a large bowl and toss with the minced garlic.

Breadcrumb Collage

The finished dinner plate…




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