Aaaannnd WE’RE BACK! Yesss! I have electricity again! :D Life is good.
For my first recipe after over a week of hiatus, I wanted to start with something super fast and easy. I had to replace everything in my refrigerator and freezer, so I wanted to make something that didn’t require a lot of ingredients and that I could use to stock up my freezer. This soup was perfect.
My grocery store has cheese tortellini in three areas: dry pasta goods, the freezer aisle, and near the dairy with other fresh pastas. I checked all three places and the frozen cheese tortellini was by far the most inexpensive. You will probably want to do some price comparing on your own.
I’ll admit, this soup is not super heavy on the tortellini. Because it’s the most expensive ingredient, I went light with it. Each bowl (2 cups of soup) had about 5 or 6 tortellini in it. If you want to beef this soup up on the cheap, try adding a cup of plain pasta (uncooked). I would go with something small, like orzo or those tiny, short tubes.
Instead of adding extra pasta, I served mine with some crusty french bread to sop up the rest of the rich tomatoey sauce. I also tried a little parmesan sprinkled on top and that was fantastic!
Spinach Tortellini Soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- 1 small yellow onion $0.57
- 4 cloves garlic $0.15
- 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce $1.50
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed or diced tomatoes $1.50
- 28 oz. water $0.00
- 1 tsp dried basil $0.05
- 1 tsp dried oregano $0.05
- 15-20 cranks fresh cracked pepper $0.05
- 1 (12 oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini $2.99
- 1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach $1.25
- 2 tsp (or to taste) salt $0.05
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large pot along with the olive oil over medium-low heat until they are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).
- Add the can of tomato sauce, the can of crushed (or diced) tomatoes, and one can full of water to the pot. Add the basil, oregano, a healthy dose of freshly cracked pepper, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring up to a simmer (about 10 minutes).
- Add the frozen tortellini and frozen spinach (no need to thaw either one). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to break up the frozen spinach. Cook until the heated through, the spinach has completely incorporated, and the tortellini is tender (about 10 minutes). Season to taste with salt – I used 2 teaspoons.
Step By Step Photos
Start by dicing the onion and mincing the garlic. Cook both over medium-low heat in olive oil for about five minutes or until they’re soft and semi-transparent.
See? Soft and semi-transparent. You don’t want the heat too high, or else all of the moisture will evaporate too quickly and the onions will begin to brown, which will give them a completely different flavor. You want them to “sweat” over medium-low heat.
I used one (28 oz.) can of tomato sauce and one (28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes. If you want a chunkier tomato texture, use diced tomatoes instead of the crushed. If tomato sauce isn’t available in your area, try pureed tomatoes or sieved tomatoes. You may need to use more salt in the end, because tomato sauce has a decent amount in it.
Add the canned tomato products, one can full of water, the basil, oregano, and a healthy dose of cracked pepper. Stir everything to combine and then bring up to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Once the soup comes up to a simmer, add the frozen tortellini and frozen spinach. There is no need to thaw either one, just dump them straight in.
Continue to cook the soup over medium-high heat until the spinach has completely melted in and broken apart (stir occasionally to help this along) and the tortellini is tender – about ten minutes. If you are adding in plain dry pasta, just let it simmer until the pasta has become tender. Season to taste with salt. I used about 2 teaspoons.
Serve hot with some good crusty bread or maybe an extra sprinkle of cheese!