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Friday, 28-Apr-2017 02:09:05 EDT
recipe: crockpot tortellini soup
by SHEILA QUINN
FOOD & DRINK

EASY CROCKPOT DINNER FOR MOMS – err, PARENTS – WHO HATE TO COOK!

As I've mentioned in my previous article, moms (and dads too) are often too busy. Add to the mix those parents who don't enjoy cooking but strive for healthy, balanced meals in 30mins or less. It can be possible with a little ahead-of-time planning... and this Crockpot Tortellini meal is easy!

EASY Tortellini Soup. And delicious for the whole family!

I've never tried to hide it (maybe I should) but as the 'chef of the household', this is my most dreaded moment of the day – to decide what to make for dinner that day or the following day. It does take some planning on occasion, especially when meat is involved requiring time to defrost prior to preparation and cooking (who has time to buy fresh meat daily?).

But with this particular meal, defrosting is not an issue... Everything gets thrown into the Crockpot and voilà, little more needs to be done before everyone is called to the dinner table. My particular zeal with this meal is that no stirring is necessary and preparation time is minimal!

This is my mother's 'sort-of' recipe that I've adjusted over time as the quality and flavour of poultry seem to have changed through the years... That said, I must also add that it is a particular favourite for all of my children. When they're sick, this is their 'medicine soup' and they ask for it – which is a nicer way of saying that they boldly expect it. As such, I keep a steady stock of these ingredients for those sudden illnesses that plague us all throughout the winter months.

Yet it's not always overlooked as a meal devoted to sickness... On days that I am particularly busy, it is a relief to have this secret weapon in my back pocket. Starting this meal takes less than five minutes: first thing in the morning, I throw everything in the crockpot, turn it on, and I don't have to worry about anything until 15-20mins before dinner! Who can argue with that? A healthy home-made meal, its aroma wafting out to the street as the slow cooker does all the work through the hours of the day, mmmm... Sounds good to me!

It's filling too so all that's needed on the side is a Caesar's Salad and Garlic Toast (a shortcut if you didn't remember to buy French baguettes ahead of time). Here it is, my children's 'medicine soup':

CROCKPOT TORTELLINI SOUP

  • 1 medium or large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2-3 large carrots
  • 3 turkey legs
  • 3 chicken stock cubes
  • water
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1pkg frozen beef or three-cheese tortellini (Olivieri brand is the best)
  • parsley and / or chives to garnish, fresh or dried
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL:
    Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese as desired
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

DIRECTIONS

Wash and trim onion, celery, and carrots and peel garlic cloves. Throw into a 4.5-quart Crockpot with turkey legs and chicken stock cubes. Fill with water and turn on the Crockpot to a medium setting (8-9hrs) or a high setting (6-7hrs).

 
 

IMPORTANT TIP
I've tried substituting the turkey legs with chicken breasts... It's possible but if you do, you will need to adjust the stock cubes and salt to replace the flavour of the turkey legs as chicken breasts are milder.

 
 

Once the stock is made later in the day, remove the vegetables and poultry. Set aside to cool.

On a high setting, add the tortellini and salt to the stock for 15-20 minutes. Of note, it does take a little longer than the package directions for the tortellini to cook in a Crockpot, especially from a frozen state. Tortellini are generally cooked once they float to the top.

Prior to serving, dice the cooled vegetables and poultry and add them back to the soup if you wish. Garnish with chives and / or parsley and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Accompany with a Caesar's Salad and Garlic Toast. Yum!

 
 

IMPORTANT TIP
Tortellini Soup does not keep well. If you have any leftovers, store in refrigerator with the tortellini and the broth in separate containers or the tortellini will expand, soften to a mushy state, and absorb all of the broth.

 
 

Stay tuned for Easy Meal Plans for Moms Who Hate to Cook – coming soon. Enjoy!

Sheila Quinn
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