Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall food: tortellini soup

This is the time of year when I've been known to fly into a rage at the mailbox. Why? Because my food magazines start arriving, chock full of gorgeous, fall-inspired stews, soups, and hearty dishes meant to nourish the belly and the soul on those crisp fall nights when you can't quite shake off the chill. And there I am, dripping sweat from walking to said mailbox in the 100+ degree temps, unable to fathom sitting down to a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup any time soon.

Well this year, I'm going to take on a new attitude and pretend that it's fall, despite what the thermostat says. I'm even feeling grateful for my hot, but mostly harmless weather in light of all of my east coast friends who have been inundated with rain, floods, and other unpleasant weather events over the last few weeks.

Interestingly enough, the recipe I found most exciting in my newest Food Network magazine was part of an ad by Sam's Club. Not only did it look tasty and family-friendly, but I noticed that I already had most of the ingredients on hand; the ones I was lacking were easily substituted or omitted. I whipped it up this afternoon while the girls were eating lunch, and having already tested out a bowl, I can vouch for it being yummy as well as simple and quick to make. And if it were raining outside, or I was looking at colored leaves instead of a cactus, it would probably make me feel warm, fuzzy, and fall-ish too.

Tortellini soup (adapted from Sam's Club ad in Food Network magazine)

1 lb ground beef
3 tbsp Italian Seasoning (I didn't have any Italian Seasoning on hand, so I used some Mrs. Dash (spicy), and some oregano)
1 tbsp paprika (I used smoked paprika because I love it)
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes)
1 can corn, drained (I omitted this because I'm not a huge fan of corn in soups)
2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tbsp garlic, minced
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup carrots, sliced
Several handfuls of tortellini or pasta of choice (I wanted to use tortellini, but was too lazy to go to the store, so I just used elbow noodles. Tasted great, but not as pretty as the tortellini would've been)
1 cup Italian blend cheese, or parmesan, for topping (optional)


In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onions, stirring in the seasoning, paprika, and a few hearty dashes of salt and pepper. Once the beef is almost fully cooked, drain the mixture and transfer to a large pot.

In the pot, combine the beef mixture with the tomatoes, corn, chicken broth, water, garlic, spinach and carrots. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and boil until pasta is cooked. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, and seasonings until you're satisfied with the flavor.

Top each bowl with cheese, if you so desire. And, as always, I recommend serving with a nice big chunk of crusty bread.


  1. So glad you tried our Ground Beef and Tricolor Tortellini Soup (minus the tortellini)! It’s great to know you found it easy to make as well as easy to manipulate using ingredients you have on hand at home. You might like to try some of our other recipes from Simply Delicious Meals on our website at Let us know if you try any others! - Mille from Sam’s Club