Old man winter just isn't giving up so warm hearty meals are still on our weekly menu. This Creamy Tortellini Soup with Spinach & Mushrooms makes it to our table quite often. Even in the spring and summer months because it is made in the slow cooker and can be left to cook until the last hour when you need to add the tortellini. Serve with warm crusty bread to make a prefect easy week night meal for your family.
1 1.8- ounce envelope white sauce mix (I made my own - see recipe below)
4 cups water (If making your own white sauce, use only 2 cups)
14 ounces vegetable or chicken broth
1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 7- to 8-ounce package dried cheese tortellini (may use 20oz of frozen)
1 12- ounce can evaporated milk
6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves or torn spinach
Ground black pepper (optional)
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
Place dry white sauce mix in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Gradually add the water to the white sauce mix ** (Note: if making your own white sauce, add only 2 cups of water to your slow cooker), stirring until smooth.. Stir in broth, mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Stir in dried tortellini. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 hour more or high-heat setting for 45 minutes more. Watch to make sure the tortellini do not over cook.
Stir in evaporated milk and fresh spinach. If desired, sprinkle individual servings with black pepper and Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.
- In a small, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat.
- Blend 4 tablespoons of flour into the melted butter.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Cook over low heat, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Slowly add 2 cups of skim milk, stirring constantly.
- Continue cooking slowly until smooth and thickened.