Creamy Tortellini Soup with Spinach

This rich and creamy soup is in a word, heavenly.  Decadent but not to heavy; creamy, flavorful and just perfect for a cool fall evening.  And it only gets better as leftovers!  I should know…I ate it for the next 2 days for lunch!  And now I wish I had more. 
So you start by chopping some pretty standard veggies for a soup.  Carrots, celery and onions.  Also you’ll chop your garlic cloves if using fresh (I used the minced kind from the jar for time saving purposes).  

Saute your veggies in a mixture of olive oil and butter, add flour and make a roux.  Follow that by a lot of half and half (really, a whole quart!), tortellini, chicken broth and some fresh spinach.  The result is a creamy, luxurious, wonderfully cold weather soup.  Yes, lots of cream (I didn’t say it was healthy!), but also lots of veggies – including spinach which is so good for you.  Your family will ask for this again and again…
 Creamy Tortellini and Spinach Soup
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
1 quart of half and half
1 can of reduced sodium chicken broth (14 oz)
pinch of nutmeg
1 package of frozen tortellini 
1 1/2 cups of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and saute until the veggies are tender about 8-10 minutes.  Add the flour and stir, forming a roux for another minute.  Slowly add the half and half and chicken broth and stir until everything is incorporated.  Add the nutmeg and allow to simmer, stirring often until the soup becomes thicker, about 5-8 minutes.  
Add the tortellini and allow it to come back up to a simmer; the tortellini will start to float when they are done (about 3-4 minutes).  Add the spinach, let wilt, and add salt and pepper to taste. 
Serve with good bread for dipping.   
(Souce:  Adapted from Pass the Sushi)


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