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Canning Day Quilt

Make it- Dinner in a Hurry


It’s raining outside.  The clouds are hanging low over the autumn patch-worked mountain behind my home and it is beautiful.  On a day like this, nothing sounds better than soup.

One of my favorite recipes is so easy you can throw it together in less than 30 minutes. After a long day, that’s just what I need.  It’s even quite healthy and my kids love it.

Here’s the recipe:

Tortellini Spinach Tomato Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart home canned tomatoes (or 2 14.5 oz cans crushed tomatoes, or 1 can crushed and 1 can diced)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth (or vegetable)
  • 1 lb. package tortellini, frozen or fresh
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 bag fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until translucent about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and broth.  Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions.  When tortellini’s have about a minute left to cook, add spinach.  Once spinach is added, salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Click on over to Tasty Kitchen for the printable recipe.


1.  Start with a medium onion.

Since I wish someone had shown me how to chop an onion when I was first learning to cook, I thought I should share a quick onion cutting tutorial, for any new cooks out there.  When choosing an onion, look for tight, dry skin and a firm feel… and no black marks, that could mean mold under the skin.

Chop the pointed end of the onion off.  And then chop the onion in half.  Peel back the skin of the onion, like so.  Now you can use the skin like a handle.


Slice the across the onion horizontally and evenly, as shown.  Slice almost to the end, but not all the way through.  You can slice wider for more chunky onion or thinner for finely chopped.  I usually put my palm on top of the onion to stabilize it while cutting.  But I couldn’t take the photograph and keep my hand there.


Next make even vertical slices across the onion.


Now chop, across the onion and there you have it, perfectly chopped onion.  I can’t say it won’t make you cry, but at least it makes it fast so you aren’t crying for long.


2.  Now back to the soup.  Finely mince two cloves of garlic.


3.  In a stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat.

4.  Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

5.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.


6.  Add the chicken broth.


7.  Add a quart jar of tomatoes.  Or two 14.5 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes or chopped tomatoes (or a can of each.)

8.  Bring to a boil.


9.  Once the soup comes to a boil, add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions.  You can use fresh or frozen.  The frozen just needs to cook longer.


10.  When tortellini’s are almost done cooking, add 10 ounces of baby spinach.  You can also use regular spinach, but I like to run my knife through it for a quick chop so the pieces aren’t so large.

11.  Once the spinach has cooked (approx. 30 seconds,) taste the soup and season with salt and pepper.


Doesn’t that look good?  Ben calls it turtle soup because he can’t remember tortellini.  Is that what tortellini means in Italian, I wonder?


Garnish with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  It’s the perfect dinner for chilly day when you’re short on time.  Enjoy!

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13 Responses to “Make it- Dinner in a Hurry”

  • Oh, this looks delicious….even at 6 in the morning!! Why are you up so early? Is there no school for two days? :)
    I kinda sorta followed your tutorial for making dish towel’s. Ok, so I did my own thing, but you gave me the inspiration to finally do something with the waffle weave fabric I’ve had cut for dish towels for a year now! I’m actually ahead of the curve for Christmas presents this year! Yay, me!! :) Thanks so much.

  • sprucehillfarm:

    Made this soup on Tuesday. One of my all time favorite recipes that I make. Quick easy and good!

  • I have a very similar recipe that is one of my favorites too! Although since the kiddos came along we tend to leave the spinach out.

    Mostly I came over to say thank you for the onion chopping lesson! I have been thinking about taking a cooking class just for that, seriously! My cousin is a chef and I have tried to replicate this process since seeing him do it, these pics are a huge help!

  • thank you Calli, I even have the tortellini in the freezer as we type! And I haven’t fixed a meal all week long, so this should be the ticket. Do your kids like the spinach??? On the bread making that you posted, would it be ok to half the recipe? Thanks again.

    • That’s the nice thing about this recipe is, my kids eat the spinach. I have to admit, my kids are good eaters. They love salad, broccoli, brussel sprouts and such. But they don’t eat spinach unless it’s mixed into something. They LOVE this soup. For pickier eaters, I would chop the spinach up a little, maybe that would work.

      And yes, you can definitely half the bread recipe.

  • Calli,
    Thank you SO MUCH for the onion cutting tip!! I have never figured out how to cut them and I use them quite a bit in my cooking, this is going to save my a ton. I didn’t know what to cook for dinner tonight, but this looks like it will hit the spot perfectly.

  • Calli, your soup sure looks good. I think I’ll have to make some for myself ;D. See, my hubby, he is a meat eater and has to have his meat, he would probably go for a burger or something not to have to eat soup :C. But, I will make some for myself and the kids :D. Thanks for sharing all of your yummy recipes and tips. I am truly inspired by you. Hugs, Sabrina

  • We love this soup! I like to add a few other ingredients to make it a little more hearty for my hubby. I add sausage (cook it with the onions and garlic) and then add zucchini. My kids love it! I like to freeze this soup too. I just leave out the tortellini and add it when I reheat it. Pasta seems to turn mooshy when it is frozen and then reheated.

    Ps… Im still loving the blog! It is the first thing I check when I get up in the morning. (well, as soon as I get the kids off to school).

  • Oh boy! I’m going to have to try that someday. Looks delish!


  • I have been craving this all day (thanks to your great pictures and being pregnant too!). We just made this for dinner and it was DELICIOUS! Thanks for the great recipe :)

  • We are another family that makes this soup fairly often. Love it! And it is so quick.

  • You inspired me to make our recipe! I linked back to your post too: http://peanutbutterinmyhair.blogspot.com/2009/10/soup-time.html

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