Creamy Chicken and Tortellini Soup
1 tablespoon, extra virgin olive oil 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 2 cups sliced carrots 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, about 2 large breasts
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper Salt and pepper
9 cups chicken broth 8.8 ounce package tortellini pasta
1/4 – 1/3 cup heavy cream 1 cup packed frozen spinach or 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Place a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and chopped onions. Sauté for 3 minutes to soften. Then add the chopped bell pepper, carrots, and garlic. Sauté another 3 minutes. Add whole raw chicken breasts, chicken broth, dried thyme, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Lower the heat a little and simmer 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and place on a cutting board. Turn the heat back to medium. With the broth still simmering, stir in the tortellini. Stir well so it doesn’t stick together. Then chop or shred the chicken and place back in the soup. Once the tortellini is cooked through, according to package directions, turn off the heat. Stir in heavy cream, spinach, and parsley. Add a little more cream if desired. Taste then salt and pepper as needed.