Thursday, March 13, 2014

Friends & Family Series: Melissa's Tortellini Soup

Hi guys!  I'm on vacation right now so I've asked my friend's and family to step in while I'm away!  Each day that I am gone, I will be sharing a recipe from one of my friends or family members.  I started this project with no clear goals, I was just hoping to fill a few of the recipe gaps while I was away.  I received an overwhelming response from everyone, and I am truly honoured and excited to be able to share with you so many great recipes made by so many of my favourite people!  Please enjoy their recipes and be sure to leave them comments at the end of their posts!  

This next recipe is by my friend Melissa, who used to live in the small hamlet that I grew up in. She was my Girl Guide leader (Canadian equivalent to Girl Scouts) and I also babysat her 4 kids (as soon as I turned 11 I excitedly got my babysitter's licence and pretty much babysat all the kids in our neighbourhood).  Melissa's adorable kids were always a dream to look after so she was one of my favourite people to babysit for!  I remember when she had her youngest daughter, I sewed my very first quilt for her (I may or may not have also gotten a Girl Guide badge for this).  One of her sons plays hockey professionally and she is all of his friend's favourite "Hockey Mom".  She is always making delicious dinners for his hockey friends, so she's used to feeding hungry crowds!  I was really happy when she agreed to share a recipe with you all, and Marc is really excited for me to make this tortellini soup!   Melissa also has a scrapbooking store called "Memory Junction" Kamloops, BC.  If you're in the area, be sure to head on over there to check it out! 

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This is my version of a soup I tried at a scrapbooking retreat about 12 years ago at Whistler. It was my friend Gloria Tucker’s family recipe. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it with picky kids & trying to figure out ways of adding protein to it, hence adding the jars of baby food LOL! Soup for me is never the same way twice! Always depends on what I have in the fridge, and what I want to use on hand when making it.

Ingredients
900ml chicken stock
1 can tomato sauce
1 can niblet corn
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 shredded zucchini
2 cups or so of crumbled cooked hamburger (I always use left over hamburger that I cooked up previously then froze. This way, it's a fast easy soup to make!)
1 package medium Italian sausage meat
1/2 package Lipton Roasted Onion & Garlic soup mix
1 package of Olivieri fresh tortellini (I use half cheese, half beef)

Directions 

Fry the Italian sausage meat until browned. When fully cooked, add the frozen cooked hamburger meat. Stir to combine. Add the soup mix, stirring into the meat. Add the chicken stock and tomato sauce. Add the corn and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add carrots and zucchini. Stir in and add the tortellini. Bring back to a boil and simmer for 6-9 minutes, depending on how done you like your tortellini. Serve with biscuits or garlic bread... enjoy!!

VARIATION:

Spicy Ground Turkey & Cheese Tortellini soup

Ingredients
Ground turkey
Ground Italian pork sausage meat – I prefer medium, but you can go HOT (if you can’t buy it ground not in the sausage, just peel the casing off and fry up the insides)
Garlic & onion
½ bag shredded carrots (you can buy shredded carrots at the grocery store)
1 jar of baby food carrots (yes, I really meant BABY FOOD CARROTS)
1 tetra pack of chicken soup stock
1 lg can of chick peas (don’t drain)
1 lg can of white kidney beans (don’t drain)
1 lg can tomato sauce
Pinch or two of Cajun or Louisiana seasoning
A couple of handfuls of cheese tortellini

Brown turkey in a big stock pot with a bit of olive oil. Brown pork in a frying pan. Once browned and crispy, add pork to turkey in stock pot. Place some chopped fresh garlic & onion in a bit of the left over drippings from the pork and brown, then put in stock pot with meat. Right here, I usually add a bit of the chicken soup stock to the frying pan to get all the browned parts off and pour the juice into the soup! Add in your Cajun seasonings. Mix and continue to brown. Slowly add the chicken stock, getting the browned parts off the bottom of the pot. Then add the rest of the stock, jar of baby food carrots, chick peas, kidney beans, tomato sauce. Once you’ve got all the ingredients in the pot, add the shredded carrots and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and add the tortellini. (I usually only add as much tortellini as we’re going to eat at that meal. I will add new stuff when I reheat.) Simmer for 3-4 minutes and serve with biscuits or buns… You can add other types of baby food (squash, sweet potatoes etc) to get the benefits without the kids knowing it’s in there. Also, you can also add diced tomatoes, peppers, etc as well. Its soup, toss in what you have in the fridge and go for it! 

ENJOY!

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