45/50 Chicken & Cabbage Soup with Tortellini

Ingredients

4 bacon strips, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1/8 t pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

4 c water

4 t Vegetarian Better Than Bouillon

1 lb cabbage, chopped (around 4 cups)

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

2 fresh thyme sprigs

2 T minced fresh parsley

1 small bay leaf

1 20-oz pkg frozen cheese tortellini

½ rotisserie chicken, skin removed, shredded

¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1 In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-low heat until brown and crisp. Remove bacon and drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. To the same Dutch oven, add onion and pepper; cook until tender 3–4 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add water, bouillon, cabbage, tomato sauce, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer covered 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, cook tortellini according to package directions; drain.

2 Discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs from soup. Add chicken to soup; heat through. To serve, spoon tortellini into individual bowls; pour soup into bowls; top with Parmesan and bacon.

Like many soups that contain pasta, this soup is great as soon as it is finished with perfect al dente pasta. But if you need to keep leftovers, the pasta soaks up much of the broth and becomes squishy. Of course, storing soup and pasta separately would prevent this, but I usually forget that and dump them all together before they go into the fridge! Other than that, this soup has a nice light tomato broth that was seasoned nicely with garlic, thyme, parsley and bay. As a soup with pasta in it, it wasn’t heavy at all, but I will say it was filling. I didn’t think it needed the chicken; and the bacon wasn’t absolutely necessary if you wanted to go vegetarian with it. The original recipe used broccoli rabe, left the bacon in the soup while cooking (soggy bacon alert!), and used at least one more pot than this recipe. Again, I substituted according to what I found at my local grocery store. I thought about substituting with kale or chopped broccoli, but the cabbage just sounded tasty and seemed right. Using the cabbage, did make it difficult to find the thyme springs when it came to removing them, so I should’ve removed the thyme from the springs before putting it in the soup, or better yet, tied the sprigs together with kitchen twine to make them easier to find.

The original recipe used broccoli rabe instead of cabbage. If you’d like to see the original recipes my posts are based on or read Taste of Home’s article that inspired my 50 Soups in 25 Weeks blogging, go to: https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/soups-to-keep-you-warm-this-fall/.

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