Sometimes, there is nothing better than a big bowl of piping hot, satisfying soup. Although soup can be a simple affair, there is no reason at all that you can’t also turn up the luxe factor a bit! For my Cheese Tortellini Soup with White Beans, I started with a store-bought vegetable broth that I infused with thyme, crushed fresh garlic and exotic saffron to kick up the flavor. I especially love the addition of the saffron in this recipe because of the hint of spice and the luxurious golden color it gives to the broth. Top with a generous sprinkle of grated fresh parmesan and pair with warm baguette, et voilà! Weeknight dinner, done!
Ingredients (serves 4 as a main course, serves 6 as a soup course)
Vegetable Broth – 8 cups, favorite store-bought variety
Thyme – 6 sprigs, fresh, tied into a bundle with kitchen string
Garlic – 3 cloves
Saffron – ½ teaspoon
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – ½ teaspoon
Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon
Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon, freshly cracked
Cheese Tortellini – 10 ounces, favorite fresh store-bought variety
White Beans – one 15.5 ounce can, rinsed and well-drained
Parmigiano Reggiano – freshly grated, for garnish
In a large saucepan set over medium heat, add the vegetable broth, thyme bundle, garlic, saffron, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Allow to come to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes to allow all the flavors to blend together.
Next, remove and discard the thyme bundle.
Using a slotted spoon, remove each garlic clove and crush each one, and return it back into the stock.
Add the cheese tortellini into the simmering stock and cook according to package directions. Add the white beans during the last 60 seconds of cooking. This will prevent the beans from being overcooked.
Ladle into bowls, top with parmesan cheese, and serve hot.
Tip: To give this soup even more flavor and texture you can add fresh baby spinach when you add in the white beans. The heat of the soup will wilt the leaves and cook it to perfection in just 60 seconds!