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Do you remember the first meal you made?  Not just a batch of cookies or a boxed cake, but a full blown meal.  I do, I was 14 years old, a freshman in high school, and in a required “life skills” class which my mom happened to be the teacher of.  We were assigned the task of planning, shopping for, and cooking a full meal and then reporting on it.  At the time (and for many, many years) I didn’t eat much meat so I was quick to find a vegetarian meal and guess what I chose?  Tortellini and pesto soup, the recipe I share with you today.

  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1-2 Tbs. chicken (or vegetable) base
  • 1 can (or 2 cups) kidney beans, cooked
  • 2-3 cups dried cheese filled tortellini
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings

  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese

I have been making this soup for well over half my life now!  I will go months without making it, but each time I do I ask myself, why don’t I make this more often?  It is simple (my 14 year old self could make it!) and delicious.  Make sure not to overcook the tortellini or it starts to fall apart and get soggy, no good.  Also, this is a simple soup so the quality of ingredients used definitely impacts the final result.  Finally, don’t skip the toppings, it isn’t the same without the pesto and parmesan cheese!

Tortellini and Pesto Soup

Melt the butter in a medium stock pot and stir in the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic.  Cover the pot and cook over medium low 5-10 minutes.

Stir in the water and chicken base.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Stir in the kidney beans, tortellini, and parsley.  Cook until the tortellini is done (refer to the package directions for the time, usually about 15 minutes.)  Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.

Serve each bowl topped with pesto and parmesan cheese.