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

Just about every time you turn on a TV set these days, it isn’t very long before an advertisement pops up for some diet program or plan that promises weigh loss and touts certain types of food ― for a hefty price.

I don’t often pay much attention to them. That’s because long ago I came to the conclusion that any advice given to me couldn’t compare to that which was passed on by two old friends who used to work at Grand Forks Public Health.

“All foods fit.” That’s what licensed registered dietitians Bev Benda and Donna Bernhardt used to tell me whenever I would consult them for advice on a food column.

I’ve followed that advice ever since, and as a result, have kept my weight in check, all the while enjoying every kind of food imaginable, albeit in moderation.

Another thing I learned from Bev and Donna was that when it comes to making soup, you can use whatever you have on hand. For example, leftovers such as chicken are perfect for soup. And frozen and canned vegetables work just fine besides being a good source of phytochemicals and fiber that have been shown to protect against a number of diseases.

The following soup recipe was made without a trip to the supermarket, just using leftovers and other foods that I had available in the pantry or refrigerator.

As well as being quite tasty, it’s very healthy and didn’t cost an arm or a leg like those fancy diet plans.

Chicken, Vegetable And Tortellini Soup
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups vegetable stock
3 carrots, sliced 1-inch thick
1 cup green beans
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup salsa
½ cup cooked winter squash (optional)
8 ounces cheese tortellini
Place all ingredients in stock pot and bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Serve with hard rolls.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

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