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Plan B: Soup in Minutes

La Vie Piquant

La vie piquant—the spicy life!  Everyday is filled with “piquant” moments that are pleasantly stimulation of exciting to the mind.  Whether it is in the form of food, style, design, love, entertaining, or any other inspiring idea or tangible object, “it” should be celebrated!  Here I will be sharing with you simple, beautiful, realistic, doable, and truly re-creatable recipes, entertaining ideas, and home décor pizzazz that will help you interject a little bit of “piquant” into your life – after all, we only live once.  Join me in living la vie piquant!

Plan B: Soup in Minutes

Marc J. Sievers

Well, it happened.  A few nights ago I was getting ready for a little dinner soirée and on my menu was a delicious homemade soup.  The table was set, the wine was open (which I was taste-testing, of course), the main course was in the oven, and the dessert was ready and waiting. In fact, all I had to do was purée my fresh creation.  Amazingly, I somehow tripped over my own two feet and the entire pot spilled all over my kitchen floor!  My heart dropped, my face froze, and all I could do was grab my wine glass, take a healthy swig (or 2!), and begin the daunting process of cleaning up what seemed like 10 gallons of soup.

After many kitchen towels, more swigs of wine, and a few inappropriate words later, my floor was clean.  But I still needed a soup course!  I opened my pantry and found Trader Joe’s Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup.  I then went to my refrigerator and found a package of fresh Trader Joe’s Cheese Tortellini.  My mind instantly filled with delicious memories of my favorite Italian restaurant in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, Antonio’s!  They used to offer a fabulous cheese tortellini soup with a base of fragrant vegetable broth and lots of fresh Parmesan cheese and parsley.

My variation of Creamy Tortellini Soup was a HIT!  It was made in minutes, using ready-made components, with the help of some heavy cream, black pepper, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  The tender tortellini float amidst a velvety and luxurious soup, making this a perfect soup to serve to company or indulge in on a chilly winter night after a long day.  Lesson of the day: Keep your pantry and refrigerator well-stocked with mix-and-match essentials. You never know when the need for Plan B will be just a soup-spill away!

Creamy Tortellini Soup

Ingredients (serves 2 generously, serves 4 accompanied with a salad or main dish)

  • Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup – 32 ounces (Trader Joe’s brand recommended)
  • Cheese Tortellini – 10 ounces, fresh (Trader Joe’s brand recommended)
  • Heavy Cream – 1 cup
  • Black Pepper - ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano – ¼ cup, freshly grated


  1. Start by cooking the tortellini according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan set over medium heat add the soup, heavy cream, and black pepper.  Heat until completely warmed throughout.
  3. Ladle the hot soup into a serving bowl or individual serving bowls.  Evenly distribute cooked tortellini and top with freshly grated cheese.
  4. Serve immediately.

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