Three-Ingredient Tortellini Soup

Serves 4 (or 3 hungry people)

This recipe may be the easiest one I’ve yet posted. All you need are:
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 lbs. spinach and cheese tortellini, fresh or frozen
2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach, loosely packed

Bring the chicken broth to a boil, then cook the tortellini according to package directions, Reduce the heat to medium and add the spinach. Cook another 1 or 2 minutes, then take off the heat and serve with black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

See? A wonderful easy meal.

Yellow Squash Minestrone

When we lived in London, we had a wonderful selection of fresh produce from all across Europe and Africa, but one thing I always missed was the yellow squash we have here in the South. Zucchini (or courgettes, as they are known in the UK) was a substitute, but I still missed the squash, which I have loved since I was little.

Now that we’re back, I’m buying it whenever I can. The other day, I came upon a farm stand selling yellow squash grown in Lawrenceville, just outside Atlanta. I bought a punnet and can’t wait to use it.

I also made this recipe, which I think is a great soup for spring. It’s another one that I’d never tried, despite it being in my cookbook for years. And now that we’re back in the beautiful South, I was finally able to make it — and it turned out great.

Makes 6 servings

1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups small pasta, like ditalini or stellini
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 medium to large yellow squash, diced
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained but chopped
4 to 6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 15-oz. can white beans, like Great Northern, drained
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the chicken broth in a stock pot and add the onion, simmering until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, green pepper, pasta, herbs, squash, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and beans; simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add enough stock or water to the pot to make the mixture as soupy or as thick as you like. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Red Pepper Soup

Today I was looking for a soup that would be just right for spring — fresh-tasting and not too heavy. I found this recipe, which has been in my cookbook for years but which I’ve never tried. It was just right.

It was so easy to make — just a few ingredients, let it simmer, then puree it and you’re done. That makes it perfect for a weekday dinner, but it’s so pretty and delicious that it could also be nice for a dinner party (make sure to add a sprig of parsley and serve it with crusty bread for wiping the bowl clean!). I recommend using an immersion hand blender to puree the soup.

You can also adjust the spiciness to your liking. I might add more cayenne pepper the next time for some kick…

Serves 4

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 large red peppers, chopped into chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz. each)
2 tsp. lemon juice
Parsley sprigs for garnish

In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add peppers and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft but not browned. Mix in cumin and cayenne, then add chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree with blender or hand blender. Mix in lemon juice and add salt if needed. Garnish with parsley before serving.