Saturday, December 1, 2018

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup aka Christmas Soup

This is one of our favorite soups and I've made it several times, usually 2-3 times a year, which is a lot for me.  We call it Christmas Soup in December because of the colors and my fondness for holiday themed everything, but we love eating it the rest of the year, too.  The soup is rich and delicious, easy to make, and makes a ton!  It is originally from Cooking Classy, but I've changed it some by leaving out the sugar, increasing the amount of cream slightly (what am I going to do with 1/4 C leftover cream?), and using beef broth because that tastes better.  Feel free to use vegetable broth if you're a vegetarian, though.  I also choose to cook the tortellini separately so they don't get soggy when you have the leftovers. You can also toss in a parmesan rind if you have one (remove it before blending!) and garnish the individual bowls of soup with grated parmesan.
If you're really in a hurry, you could use baby carrots, a quartered onion, whole peeled garlic cloves, and skip the step where you saute the vegetables.  You could also use 2 or 3 tsp dried basil added at the beginning instead of fresh at the end, but of course the fresh basil is pretty tasty. 
I have frozen it quite successfully as well, just add the tortellini right before the individual bowls go into the freezer.
Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup 
2 Tbsp butter
2 C peeled, roughly chopped carrots
1 onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, undrained
1 quart beef broth
1 tsp pepper
4 bay leaves
parmesan rind (optional)
salt to taste (I didn't have to add any)
1 C cream
1 lb refrigerated tortellini
1 bunch fresh basil, cut chiffonade
Melt butter in a skillet.  Add carrots and onion, and saute for a few minutes until they start getting a little golden.  Add garlic and saute another minute or two, don't let the garlic change color. Transfer the vegetable mixture to your slow cooker. Add tomatoes, beef broth, pepper, and bay leaves.Cover and slow about 7 hours, until vegetables are tender.  This isn't really a recipe that can be overcooked, so let it just keep doing its thing until you're ready to eat if the vegetables get soft before you expect!
When it's dinner time, remove bay leaves (and parmesan rind if you added on) and puree soup with immersion blender.  Stir in cream.  Taste and add salt if necessary.  Let it continue to cook while you prepare the tortellini.
In a separate pot, cook the tortellini according to the package directions.  Drain them and return them to the pot.  Do not mix them into the soup!
When ready to serve, ladle soup into individual bowls, and top with a few tortellini and a sprinkle of basil.
Yield:  About 10 large servings

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