Spinach and tomato tortellini soup(Read article summary)
A soup for the the first chilly days of spring.
Itâ€™s that time of year. Of life, actually. A point where I must begin to make decisions to secure gainful employment, financial security, and a place to live that isnâ€™t with, or funded by, my parents. So far itâ€™s been rather anticlimactic. Moments of Zen-like calm precede 90-minute job-seeking marathons, followed by thoughts like, â€śMaybe I should just hang out in Europe for a bit.â€ť And then, again, calm â€“ most prevalent and seemingly illogical considering the state of â€śthis economy.â€ť (Cue dark organ music.)
I often feel like the New York Times article â€śWhat Is It About 20-Somethings?â€ť personified, the question mark perpetually superimposed over everything I see and touch, like those index cards my high school Spanish teacher stuck on every object in her room, identifying their Spanish names. â€śLa televisionâ€ť and â€śel escritorio.â€ť Except thereâ€™s no clear answer this time. I get to fill in the blank.
Impressively and patiently, my parents take it all in stride. Some days, I inundate my dadâ€™s e-mail in box with new plans of jobs and internships, of English-teaching opportunities, of I-want-to-be-Samantha-Brown aspirations. â€śWhat do you want to do [with your life] today?â€ť is one of his common greetings.
What I want is an opportunity that will foster, rather than contain, my enthusiasm, cause a snowball effect where I stumble over my words and letters and phrases with the wanting, the craving to get them out fast enough so I can hurry up and do more and see more and say more and have my life be an endless run-on sentence instead of a question mark or, even worse, a period.
Yes, thatâ€™s what I want. Lots and lots of doing with only the most promising of punctuation.
So you can see what weâ€™re dealing with here. My mind fluctuates more than spring weather in North Carolina. Speaking of whichâ€¦.
I made this soup when the weather was cold. (By my definition, weâ€™re talking 50 degrees F. or so.) Now, the weather is warm. Miraculously, this soup is well-suited for both occasions, hearty with its bean backbone and springy with its fresh basil freckles.
Spinach and tomato tortellini soup
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces chicken broth
16 ounces of water (use chicken broth container to measure)
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
16 ounces frozen tortellini
16 ounces canned, diced tomatoes, with the juice
16 ounces canned cannellini beans
10 ounces spinach, washed and stemmed
10 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
In a large pot (I used my Dutch oven), sautĂ©e garlic in oil and butter for about two minutes on medium-low heat.
Add broth, water and bouillon cubes to the pot and bring to a boil. Add frozen tortellini and cook for half the directed cooking time written on the package. (Around 5 minutes.)
Add tomatoes and juice, reduce heat to simmer for a few more minutes. Stir in spinach, beans and basil, and simmer for another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated cheese.
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