This is one of those family favorite recipes that not only has been renamed from its original (and rather staid), “Creamy Spinach Chicken Tortellini Soup” but has also been completely reworked. Starting out as a quick weeknight meal that uses a number of convenience items like canned soup, at some point I had the realization it wasn’t that much harder to cook from scratch – just a little bit of chopping involved really. And because we lean more vegetarian, I started going with cream of mushroom instead of cream of chicken soup. The end result? Still really good while remaining an easy weeknight dinner.
As for how it earned the name’ fork soup’, that was one of those monikers your toddler comes up with that once you realize what they are talking about, the name is stuck in your vocabulary for ever. Edie girl was about 2 or 3, getting over a particularly nasty stomach bug that had put a kabosh on her appetite for the better part of a week. She woke up one morning requesting “fork soup”, refusing to eat anything else presented to her until she got just that. It was a frantic few hours trying to decipher toddler speak (really, toddler thinking) while having that worried mama feeling of wanting to get a solid meal in your baby AND that understanding of that feeling when you’re recovering from a stomach bug and you crave that ONE thing that you must eat and you can only eat that one thing. You know what I’m talking about?
The clue that finally gave it away? When she explained it was the soup she ate with a fork because of the ‘big noodles’. And Fork Soup it has been ever since.
One note on this – I find when making ‘creamy’ soups, it’s not necessarily to add a great deal of dairy, particularly if I use chicken broth as the base. I often have heavy cream on hand for making biscuits, so I might use a little of that (1/4-1/2 cup) instead of a cup or two of whole or skim milk.
Oh, and since my food photography skills are what they are (lazy), I decided to share pictures of our tulip magnolia in bloom, before the freeze this past weekend turned it brown and not nearly as picturesque, so that there’s something pretty in this post.
Mince 1/4 – 1/2 onion or shallot
Saute in 2 tbsn butter
Add 1 cup chopped mushrooms and a splash or two of white wine or broth
When the mushrooms are cooking and releasing their juices, stir in 2 tbsn flour with salt & pepper to taste until the mixture is smooth and bubbly
Add 4 cups liquid (chicken or vegetable broth, water, I usually do half and half)
Bring to simmer
Add 5 oz chopped fresh spinach, cooking until wilted
Adding more liquid if needed, bring back to simmer and add 1 pkg tortellini, cooking according to package directions
Stir in milk or cream until desired constancy (up to about 2 cups), heat through and serve with fresh cracked pepper.