I’ve mentioned many times that my mother was an incredible soup maker. Her claim to fame – something I’ve also mentioned a time or two before – was this chicken and wild rice soup that I’ve never been able to nail down the recipe for. It was everyone’s favorite. I knew people that asked for it as birthday gifts and they’d store the quarts in their freezer. It was an amazing soup, don’t get me wrong. For me though, one of the ones I preferred more was a tomato Florentine soup with tortellini in it. She didn’t make it that often but when she did, I’d horde it. Despite the fact that once reheated the spinach looked a little gnarly, the flavor was so deep and the tortellini so hearty, I didn’t really care.
The memories of that soup came flooding back to me when I saw this post from Deb at SmithBites. The rich, tomato-y broth punctuated by spice from the garlic. I’ve had this post bookmarked to come back to (and mentioned it in my soup lust list post) and I’ve finally come around to making it. It’s delicious…and so filling and warming on these random isn’t-it-almost-April gray days we’ve been having. I added a little extra heat with some dried red chili flakes for some zip. The addition of the swirl of pesto at the end is great and really adds depth to the soup. While you can save this for a day or two and reheat it, the kale doesn’t keep its integrity much past that.
Kale Tortellini Soup – makes 6 to 8 servings – adapted from this recipe by SmithBites
– In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the minced garlic and saute until soft but not brown – 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the dried red chili and saute for another minute. Pour in the vegetable stock (and/or water) and chopped tomatoes/passata and simmer for 15 minutes. Throw in the tortellini and cook until tender, which takes between 6 and 8 minutes. Stir in the kale leaves and cook until wilted (and the ribs are tender), which for me took 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the pesto, taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Serve immediately.