Here in AZ we are pretending it is getting to be fall (last week 75 degrees, this week 92--go figure). However, I do love it when it gets a little cooler so we can have soup; my favorite. There is something about a steaming hot bowl of soup and some good crusty bread that just makes me feel safe and secure.
I got this recipe from my dear friend, Mary who is a fabulous cook and most of the time she makes her own chicken stock! This recipe makes a lot and for those with smaller families, you can certainly 1/2 the recipe.
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 4 cups carrots, peeled and cut into diagonal slices 4 cups celery, diced small 1-2 T. Italian seasoning 1 bay leaf 4 quarts of chicken broth 16 ounces cheese tortellini (packaged in the refrigerator section at the store) 4-5 cups cooked shredded chicken 2-3 T. chicken bullion granules (or **Better Than Bullion) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, Italian seasoning and the bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes until vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken broth and add the bullion. Bring the liquid to a boil. Add more bullion ahnd Italian seasoning if you like. Add the tortellini and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve in bowls sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
**I use Better Than Bullion instead of cubes or granules. It has a better, more rich flavor--probably due to the fact it has some of the fat from chicken in it. Sounds gross--but really makes soups and stews taste good!!