One of my culinary preferences is soup. I can hardly think of one I don't like, except for borscht which I only had once and thought was icky. At least twice a week for lunch I have a can of Campbell's chicken tortilla soup, with some avocado and a little cheese. One of my favorite childhood memories is my mom's chicken stew, with homemade noodles, served over a bed of mashed potatoes. When we're eating out, I almost always choose soup instead of salad. I make a decent pasta fagioli, my taco soup is excellent, and my potato soup? Well, I can't even be modest. It is delicious.
The only problem?
No one else really likes soup. Kendell, especially, is anti-soup. He thinks it isn't dude food. Only chicks eat soup! So I don't make it as often as I like.
Tonight, though, I made soup for dinner. I quited the voice in my head that was shouting "no one but you will like this!" and I made it anyway, just because I was pretty sure I would love it.
When I ladled up the soup, Jake was all "I don't think I will like this," and Nathan said "I hate tortellini even if it's not in soup!" and Haley was certain she wouldn't like it. Kaleb flatly refused. (I didn't expect anything other than these reactions.) BUT! They surprised me. They surprised themselves.
They liked the soup.
Well. Haley, Jake, and I liked it. I caught Kendell eating seconds. Kaleb didn't try it, and Nathan only ate around the tortellini. But hearing two out of four kids say "this is good! It's better than I thought it would be!" Well, that makes me happy. It reminds me that they can't try new things if my "this sounds good" instinct is outshouted by my "no one will like this" voice. We all need to try harder.
Here it is, the soup recipe that 2/3rds of my family loved. Yes, even the biggest dude! I found this on my friend Wendy's blog and modified it just a bit.
Tomato Tortellini Soup with Spinach
2 tsp. olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1/2 onion, finely diced
1-1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cans chicken broth
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 13-oz bags frozen cheese tortellini
6 oz. prewashed baby spinach*
salt and pepper
Press garlic and finely dice the onion. Saute in olive oil over medium-high heat until soft. Dump into blender with a little bit of chicken broth and process until smooth. (You can skip this step if you don't have Pickies.) Return to pan, then add the rest of the broth, the tomatoes (Jamie you could totally make this with sauce instead of crushed!), the spices and sugar. Let this simmer for about 1/2 hour. Add the baking soda—it will boil up big, watch out!—and the salt and pepper. Return to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook until just al dente, about 8-9 minutes. (Tortellinis float when they are done cooking!) Tear the spinach into small pieces; add for the last minute or so of cooking. Serve with parmesan cheese.
Let me know if you try it!
*Please note: I have no real idea of how much spinach I used. Three handfuls from the great big Costco spinach container.