CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Are you one of those people who finds it hard to resist making soup on a cold spring day?
I am. And throwing together a pot of delicious vegetables with a little pasta is a great way to spend an early afternoon when the temperatures are on a slow descent to reach 50 and the wind is blowing a bit.
My inspiration for the following soup was a glance into the freezer, where I came across a bag half full of frozen cheese tortellini and decided it was time to use it up.
Along with some frozen carrots, zucchini and parsley, some the final remnants of last summer’s garden, a couple of stalks of celery, 6 cups of frozen broth and a pint of canned tomatoes, I had the makings of what looks like a tasty tortellini vegetable soup.
The Williams-Sonoma recipe, which follows, is what I loosely followed for my soup. A bowl of the finished product will be just what I need before going to a high school baseball doubleheader later today.
Hopefully, it will keep the chill off until I return home for a second serving.

Tortellini Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound fresh cheese tortellini (can be frozen)
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a soup pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery and zucchini and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
Add the tortellini and cook for 5 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Remove from the heat. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the cheese and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4.

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