Souper Bowl Sunday ['11] ~ Week Six

It’s a beautiful fall day here in Philadelphia and the perfect day for soup! I wanted to try something different, so I decided to throw together a Creamy Tortellini Soup. I’ve seen Tortellini Soups before, but they were different from what I had in mind. Most of them were broth based, but I wanted mine to be creamy so I decided to get creative and come up with my own.

  •  4  tablespoons  butter
  • 1/2 cup leeks
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup + 3/4 cup half & half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • two 9 oz packages Tortellini (I used Wegman’s brand)

In a Dutch Oven, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and leeks; reduce heat to medium low.


Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft and golden.

 

Start to bring water to a boil in a large saucepan so that you can cook the Tortellini. Once the water is boiling, cook the Tortellini as directed on the package. Do not overcook.


Drain and place in a bowl. Set aside.

 In another pan, heat the olive oil over low to medium heat. Smash the garlic and add to the pan. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Add in the spinach and season with a pinch of salt & pepper.


Cook until wilted.


Transfer to a bowl and set it aside.

Add in the chicken broth, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or so.


Add in the milk and 3/4 cup of half & half.


In a large screw-top jar, combine 1/4 cup of half & half and flour. Cover and shake until combined and smooth.  Add that into the soup mixture.

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
Add in the Spinach (drain it), Thyme, Parsley, Nutmeg, salt (to taste) and pepper.
Add in the cooked Tortellini and let it simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes to incorporate all of the flavors.

Serve with your favorite bread.

I must say that this soup was pretty good, if I do say so myself. I was very happy with how it came out. I thought it was packed full of flavor and this will definitely be put in my recipe box to make in the future. The Spinach added a lot of flavor to the soup. The nutmeg is a key ingredient that really brings all of the flavors together. This recipe as written is vegetarian, but if you want to add in some chicken or another kind of meat it would work well for that too.

5 Ingredient Friday: The French Onion Division Series Dog

I’m a huge baseball fan, so it’s only natural that I love this time of year! MLB Playoff time! My team, the Philadelphia Phillies, set a franchise record with 102 wins in the regular season! How exciting! The Wild Card race came down to one game  and it was a very exciting night for baseball fans.

I wanted to do something fun during the playoffs, so here at One Curly Fry we’re going to spotlight Hot Dogs for 5 Ingredient Fridays during the playoffs!  Many people love a good ballpark hot dog. I wanted to jazz them up a bit for this though. So Mr. Curly Fry and I were brain storming some different flavors that we could put together and put them on a Hot Dog. The Division Series games start this weekend, so it’s only natural that first up is The French Onion Division Series Dog.

 

  • Hot Dogs
  • Hot Dog Rolls
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Pretzel Croutons (click here for the recipe)
  • Gruyere Cheese (Parmesan works also)

 

To start off – I like to boil hot dogs, and then finish them off in a saute pan. There’s just something I love about a hot dog that has been pan fried. If I had an outdoor grill I’d be using that, but since I live in the city and live in an apartment building that’s not an option for me.  So cook your hot dogs however you’d like!

Now it’s time to assemble the dog! Put the hot dog in the hot dog roll. Top the hot dog with caramelized onions. Use as much or as little as you want – totally your decision! Put some pretzel croutons on top of the caramelized onions. Top the croutons with cheese (I use a vegetable peeler to get thin slices of cheese to place on top, that way it melts nicely). Place the hot dog on a baking cheese and broil it for 2 minutes, until the cheese melts and is nice and bubbly.

French Onion Hot Dog

All of the flavors come together

 

Lasagna Rolls

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved Lasagna. I mean really…who doesn’t?! The ingredients can be changed up to suit anyone’s needs. If you love meat, add meat into it. If you’re a vegetarian, add a bunch of vegetables in there. It’s a very versatile dish, and it always tastes so good!  I’ve seen a number of different recipes for Lasagna Rolls, but there was always something I didn’t like about it.  So I decided to just change up my own Lasagna recipe and turn them into Lasagna Rolls.

I knew that if I put the turkey sausage inside of the Lasagna Roll that it would more than likely all slip out.  So I added the turkey sausage in with the spaghetti sauce.  The additional of the spinach in with the ricotta mixture gave it so much flavor and it was definitely what took it to the next level.

 

  • 1 lb of sweet turkey sausage
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, grated; divided
  • 16 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked & drained; lay on a cookie sheet
  • large jar of spaghetti sauce (or homemade)

 

In a skillet, cook turkey sausage until meat is no longer pink; drain on a paper towel. Set aside.

Cook sausage until it’s no longer pink

 

Once it’s done, drain on a paper towel

Heat up the spaghetti sauce in a saucepan. Once the turkey sausage is drained, add it into the sauce and combine. Cook on low while you get the rest of the dish together.

In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 4 cloves of grated garlic, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, oregano, a few sprinkles of salt and a dash of pepper.

Combine ricotta, garlic, parmesan, mozzarella, oregano, salt & pepper

Wash out the skillet you cooked the turkey sausage in and dry it thoroughly. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add in the spinach. It will cook down a lot. Once it’s almost done, add in the 2 cloves of grated garlic and cook while stirring constantly until the garlic is mixed in. Stir the spinach into the ricotta cheese mixture thoroughly.

Mix the spinach into the ricotta cheese mixture

Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Add a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom.

Lay out a noodle. Spread a layer of the cheese mixture on the noodle. Fold over the top, and then fold over the bottom. Place the Lasagna Roll seam side down on top of the spaghetti sauce. Repeat this process with the other noodles. Top with remaining sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Fresh out of the oven

5 Ingredient Friday: Parmesan Orzo

*sauce is not included in recipe

This week’s 5 Ingredient Friday is something that I love to make: Orzo. It goes with so many different dishes and you can change up ingredients to fit your meal. If you need something to go with a Greek dish, add in some kalamata olives, lemon juice & zest, etc. If you need something to go with a steak, add in green scallions, dried cherries, and pecans. This specific dish is just something that I came up with when I wanted a pasta-like side dish to go with Chicken Parmesan, but didn’t want anything too heavy. Orzo is a type of pasta that is made in the shape of a grain of rice. I love how it’s so light and fluffy. There’s so much you can do with Orzo. Here’s my favorite recipe…

Ingredients

  • Orzo (as much as you want to make)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a boil and stir in the orzo; return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 9-11 minutes; drain.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan (or skillet) over medium heat. Cook the onion for a few minutes until it’s translucent. Stir in the garlic and let it cook for about a minute or so.

Stir in your cooked Orzo and mix until everything is incorporated. Add in your grated Parmesan Cheese; stirring until it melts. Taste it for flavor, and add in salt & pepper as you see fit.

*The sauce in the picture above was not included in the recipe. I was trying to use up the extra sauce so that’s why it’s on there :)

So as you see this is a very easy recipe that can be changed up at any time. I love to do Orzo with sweet onions, garlic, lemon juice & zest, and fresh parsley when serving white fish such as Flounder or Tilapia. The possibilities are endless!

Share your favorite Orzo recipes!