Thursday, December 1, 2011

Soup it up.

It's definitely soup season again. The moment I step outside into a dark and dreary evening, I immediately crave soup. Chicken noodle soup, taco soup, curried soup, you name it! I'll eat it. So I've been scouring my cookbooks for a healthy, but hearty soup to make on these increasingly gray days. I found a winner with the Italian White Bean, Pancetta, and Tortellini Soup from Giada's Everyday Pasta cookbook. Soooo, so good. And actually quite easy! Give it a try, people. As Nike would say, just do it.

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 lb. pancetta, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped (we added two!)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
8 c. chicken broth
4 c. water
1/2 lb. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
Salt and pepper
(Erika's addition: Red pepper flakes! I add them to almost everything for a nice kick.)

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, shallots, and carrot and cook until the vegetables are soft and the pancetta is crisp, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, beans, chicken broth and water and bring up to a boil over high heat. Toss in the Swiss chard and let it wilt, about 3 minutes. (It will look like A LOT of chard, but don't worry, it shrinks.)

Add the tortellini and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the tortellini are tender (about 4 minutes for fresh, 8 minutes for frozen). Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

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