Now that the nights are getting chilly once again, itís the perfect time for a bowl of garlicky soup, filled with garden tomatoes and spinach. This soup is substantial enough for supper, along with a crisp salad and a loaf of crusty bread (or the tomato-corn muffins in this issue), or you can serve it for lunch on a weekend. Either way, this is Italian country soup with garden flavor and lots of healthy nutrition: cancer-fighting lycopene from tomatoes and eye-loving lutein from spinach along with the healing magic of garlic make this one soup recipe youíll want to keep.
Itís easy to make, too! Hereís how:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 to 10 garlic cloves, chopped
8 cups good-quality vegetable broth
12 ounces fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
3 cups ripe tomatoes, diced (or one 28-ounce can, with liquid)
1 pound spinach, washed and stemmed; coarsely chopped if large
10 to 20 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook halfway, about 5 minutes for frozen pasta, less if using fresh.
2. Add the tomatoes, reduce heat to simmer, and cook just until the pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and basil and cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Serve sprinkled with the grated cheese.
Serves 4 to 6.
Inspired by Cooking New American, by the editors of Fine Cooking Magazine (Taunton Press, 2004).