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