Tortellini soup with spring greens and white beans
I love foods that are healthy-indulgent. A salad that’s scattered with croutons and dressing. Roasted vegetables covered in melty cheese (see here). Or this soup, which is full of vegetables and cannellini beans, but also has a bit of tortellini to make it hearty and filling. I could live off foods like this – you can make out like you’re being really healthy, and in reality these foods do contain lots of great stuff, but there’s also that little something extra to keep you entertained.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last few days, you might have seen that the UK has suffered yet more flooding. This country seems to be permanently under water these days. Luckily, my city hasn’t been flooded, but there has been some pretty ridiculous rain that seems to have lasted for approximately twelve years. Anyway, my point is that a bowl of hearty soup is just the thing for this time of year. This particular soup has vegetables that are good for your body, and tortellini that’s good for your soul.
(by the way, the tortellini has an annoying tendency to float to the top of the soup, so in these photos it looks like it’s more pasta-heavy than it actually is. Make sure you dig right to the bottom when you’re dishing up)
You can use any sort of tortellini for this, but it’s good to use one with a fairly mild flavour so that it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients in the soup – I used spinach and ricotta flavour. You can cook them straight from frozen if that’s what you have; they just take a couple of minutes longer.
I’m loving these spring greens at the moment – for just £1 I got a 300g bag, and it just seems to keep going. I’ve already used it to make my roast potato and spring greens bake, spaghetti bolognese, and a massive vat of this soup, and I still have some left. Definitely a nice way to stay frugal before splurging on Christmas presents.
(speaking of Christmas, I got my advent calendar the other day, and now I’m even more excited. Yes, I’m 23, what of it?)
Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1tbsp tomato purée
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g tins cannellini beans, drained (240g each when drained)
1/2tsp dried oregano
1/2 vegetable stock cube
150g spring greens cabbage, shredded
300g tortellini (fresh or frozen) – I used spinach and ricotta flavour, but any mild flavour will work well
4tbsp grated cheddar cheese, to serve (optional)
Heat the oil in a very large saucepan, and cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes over a medium-low heat. Add the tomato purée, and cook, stirring, for a further 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, drained beans and dried oregano, and crumble in the stock cube. Season to taste, and add a few good glugs of hot water until the soup is at your desired consistency. Add the spring greens, and turn the heat up to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes before adding the tortellini and cooking for a few more minutes (see directions on the packet of tortellini – they usually take between 1 and 5 minutes, but will take a few minutes more if cooking from frozen).
As soon as the tortellini is ready, remove from the heat and serve, topped with a little grated cheese if desired.