Lemon & Spinach Chicken (Tortellini) Noodle Soup

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That title is a MOUTHFUL – but this ain’t any regular ole chicken noodle soup! Instead of regular pasta noodles, we’re using CHEESE TORTELLINI, and instead of a dull, boring broth, we’re adding tons of lemon juice and topping it off with a parsley and lemon zest garnish. I’m not a regular chicken noodle soup, I’m a cool chicken noodle soup.

The entire soup is ready in less than 30 minutes, and makes enough servings to serve a large family one meal or a small family several meals. Or, enjoy two servings and freeze the rest for a later day. Like, next Monday, when you’re still stuck in your house and you’re completely sick of cooking for yourself.

Anybody else been craving comfort food during this time of isolation? Our has been sandwiches thus far, but we are venturing into soup territory with this bad boy. Comforting, and still chock full of carbs. Perfect.

Lemon & Spinach Chicken (Tortellini) Noodle Soup

Servings 4 to 6 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs*, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 ounces fresh or dried cheese tortellini
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped or torn
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 lemons
  • fresh parmesan shavings, for garnish 

Instructions

  • Warm olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Sauté carrots, onion, and celery until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook for 30 more seconds.
  • Stir in chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Add chicken and bay leaf, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the tortellini, recover, and continue cooking. 
  • Cook for 5 more minutes, then transfer the chicken to a bowl and use two forks to shred. Return chicken to the pot. If you used fresh tortellini, it should be ready to eat. If you used dried, you may need to continue cooking for another couple of minutes.
  • Stir spinach and 1/4 cup parsley into the soup, and combine the remaining 1/4 cup parsley with the zest of 1 of the lemons and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cut the two lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the soup. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if desired.
  • Serve soup with parsley-lemon zest mixture and fresh parmesan shavings.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs*, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 ounces fresh or dried cheese tortellini
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped or torn
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 lemons
  • fresh parmesan shavings, for garnish 

Notes

*If you’re using chicken thighs (I actually prefer thighs – they stay much juicier) poach them for 15 minutes, then add the tortellini and cook for 5 more minutes, then remove the chicken and shred for a total chicken cook time of 20 minutes. 
Use any broth/stock you have! Bouillon also works.
Any type of noodle also, of course, works. Tortellini not required, though highly recommended!
Author: Caroline Chambers

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