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The Kitchn: This creamy chicken soup has a few shortcuts up its sleeve

By Patty Catalano on

As winter wanes into spring, it is perfectly normal to crave both creamy comfort food and the bright spark of fresh veggies. This soup has it all: tender chicken, chunky carrots, wisps of wilted spinach, bite-sized pillows of pasta and cheese, all with a silky broth to tie it together.

The Dutch oven is the workhorse of my kitchen. For most of the year it camps out on the back of my stove, awaiting the splash of oil and sizzle of onion. Some days this humble pot is filled with bread for baking, other days it's slowly simmering stock. On Saturdays I use it to put grocery store staples to work in this simple, satisfying soup. Red pepper and garlic join the classic trio of onion, carrot and celery for a quick saute.

Dig through the freezer to retrieve a rind of Parmesan saved for just such an occasion, or if you have not had the forethought simply purchase a pack of Parmesan rinds from the cheese counter of your grocery store. A few breasts of chicken simmer until tender enough to pull (although I've skipped this step and substituted the shredded meat of a rotisserie chicken in a pinch). Stir in two handfuls of greens -- one spinach and the other mixed herbs -- and a splash of half-and-half, and the soup is ready to serve.

Pull out your biggest spoon for a taste of velvety broth, cheesy tortellini, juicy chicken, and tender vegetables in every bite. Even if your weekend plans leave you just an hour to spare before supper, this is the Saturday soup to warm you through bone-chilling winter days and mild spring nights.

Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup

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Serves 6

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 large onion, diced

1 teaspoon kosher salt


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