Woohoo! Another year is on the books and I have a feeling 2011 is going to be pretty great. I subscribe to the “everything in moderation” book of life but New Year’s always makes me want to focus on a more balanced diet. It can sometimes seem like a chore to plan and prep “healthy” meals so I’ve found that having easy go-to recipes in my arsenal is the key.
This minestrone soup is one of those kind of recipes. The tortellini makes it heartier than an everyday minestrone and it’s packed with healthy veggies that you can feel good about. It’s fast and easy enough for weeknight dinners and can easily be made vegetarian if that’s more your speed.
Tortellini Minestrone Soup
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, chopped into coins
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pkg frozen cheese tortellini
1 can cannellini beans
1 bunch kale, chopped
4-5 C broth (chicken or vegetable)
28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 lb italian sausage (optional)
In a large stockpot, warm oil and add chopped onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables soften and add garlic. Push vegetables to the side of the pot and add sausage (if using). Break sausage into large crumbles and cook until browned and mostly cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well. Add half of the broth and stir. Add cannellini beans, kale and remaining broth. Season well with salt and pepper. Add red pepper flakes if desired. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes and add in tortellini. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve with crusty french bread. Serves 6.