Life. Is. Nuts. I feel like everything is spinning around so quickly, sometimes. But in all the crazy, at least I know there is one saving grace at dinnertime:
the crock pot.
the slow cooker.
the low-stress supper
Whatever the heck you call it, it saves lives.
This recipe held me together.
It's nice to have one less thing to think about at dinnertime. As many slow cooker recipes go, it just takes a little bit of prep, and a lot of slow & sweet time to make this work. The base of this soup is lots and lots of juicy tomatoes (you can use fresh or canned for this one), add a little sugar to counterbalance that tartness and acidity, a pile of carrots for heartiness and sweetness, bay leaves for depth, some onions and lots of garlic, and as much basil as you can afford.
After 7-8 hours of slow cooking those amazing Italian flavors into absolute and utter nirvana (the fragrance is out-of-this-world), it's time to add in the pasta. I love using the fresh refrigerated tortellini - it cooks fast, tastes great, and you can choose just about any kind of filling that's there. We've tried the prosciutto and chicken, spinach, and three cheese. The three cheese by far is my favorite and works really well with this kind of soup. Toss in a handful of parmesan, and you have dinner, my friend. It's SO stinkin' easy. The leftovers keep beautifully, and the tortellini holds it's shape instead of jumping in size after soaking up the broth.
If you have a busy, busy, busy day ahead, do yourself a favor and toss this into the slow cooker! Dinner will be ready in a cinch, and your stress levels will be at a more sane level. ;)
Slow Cooker Three Cheese Tortellini
makes 8 servings
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 T EVOO
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 28oz cans whole roma italian tomatoes
1 32 oz carton chicken both
1/3 C chopped fresh basil
2 bay leaves
1 T granulated sugar
salt & pepper
16oz refrigerated three cheese tortellini
3/4 C heavy cream
parmesan for serving
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute oil, carrots, and onion for 4 minutes, then add in garlic and saute for another minute.
2. Pour mixture into a large crock pot with tomatoes, broth, basil, bay leaves, and sugar. Stir, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 4 hours.
3. Remove bay leaves, then puree with mixture with an immersion blender. Add more broth/water if the soup is too thick (still needs to be a soup!). Stir in tortellini, cover, and let cook on high for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then stir in heavy cream. Serve with parmesa and more fresh basil.
Recipe adapted from: Cooking Classy