Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lemony Chicken Tortellini Soup


I'm very behind in my posts & for that, I apologize. This past week was a total wash for me. Between losing a week of work time due to spring break & then a whole house full of sick people, it's been pretty much impossible to get anything done.
Because we had so much sickness last week, I wanted to make some chicken noodle soup. But, I didn't want to make it the way I usually do...which pretty much takes the whole afternoon. I wanted something easy & quick, but I didn't have any frozen stock on hand. So, I came up with what will now be my "weeknight" chicken soup!
It's easier because instead of boiling chicken for hours to get a flavorful stock, I started off with a bit of store-bought chicken broth, combined with water. I also added in some aromatics, in the form of some onion, lemon & star anise...which resulted in a pretty good base for soup in less than half the time. The star anise added a subtle sweetness to the soup, but was not at all an overpowering licorice flavor.
I added in the typical things my kids love in their soup...shredded chicken breast, carrots, pasta & of course...parsley {which is more for me, because I love the flecks of green in there}. This time, I used tortellini...specifically Barilla spinach & cheese tortellini. I have no idea if the spinach in those delicious little bits of cheesy pasta adds any nutritional value, but I have to tell you that my kids had no idea they were eating something with spinach in it! But, of course, you can use any pasta you'd like here...plain cheese tortellini would work well too.

Begin by adding a 3 1/2-4 pound whole chicken to a stockpot. To the pot, add 6 cups of water, 1/2 a lemon {quartered}, 1 small onion {peeled & halved}, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 star anise,

and 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to a low simmer & cook, partially covered for 45 minutes. As it cooks, skim off & discard any foam that rises to the surface.
Remove the chicken from the pot & set aside to cool slightly. Drain the stock through a fine mesh sieve & return to the pot.


While the chicken is cooking prepare the other ingredients. For this, it's easy! Just 4 carrots {peeled & large diced}

or, about a heaping cup...and, a 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley. If you'd like to pack in more veggies, chop up whatever your favorites are.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into bite-sized pieces & set aside. Bring the stock back to a boil. Add in 8 ounces of tortellini & the carrots.

Cook for 8-9 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Add the shredded chicken & simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in the chopped parsley & serve.

Lemony Chicken Tortellini Soup

Recipe from The Parsley Thief
Serves 4-6

1 (3 1/2-4 pound} whole chicken
6 cups water
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 lemon {quartered}
1 small onion {peeled & halved}
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 whole star anise
8 ounces spinach & cheese tortellini
4 carrots {peeled & large diced}
1/3 cup {chopped} flat-leaf parsley
wedges of lemon {as an optional garnish}

Place the chicken in a 5 quart stockpot. Add the water, chicken stock, lemon, onion, salt & star anise. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to a low simmer & cook, partially covered for 45 minutes. As it cooks, skim off & discard any foam that rises to the surface.
Remove the chicken from the pot & set aside to cool slightly. Drain the stock through a fine mesh sieve & return to the pot. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into bite-sized pieces; set aside.
Bring the stock back to a boil; add in the tortellini & carrots. Cook for 8-9 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Add the shredded chicken; simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the chopped parsley & serve.
Click here for the printable recipe.

7 comments:

Blog is the New Black said...

Beautiful pics, this recipe sounds amazing!

Joanne said...

My mom always used to make us tortellini and broth when we were sick! this brings back some good memories but I think I'd love it much more with the star anise...one of my favorite spices!

The Food Hound said...

Looks so filling and perfect!! I think I might get sick just to make this someday!! LOVE the use of star anise- almost makes it like pho!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

What a beautiful post and blog! Im so glad to have found you! This soup looks absolutely amazing.
Mary

Ruth said...

This looks really comforting and lovely! :-)

sandy axelrod said...

Wow that looks mouth wateringly good!! I can't wait to make it. It has so many things that I love, lemon, star anise, chicken and cheese tortellini!

Lori @ Girl Meets Oven said...

Love the idea of adding tortellini to chicken soup. Sounds delicious!

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