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Chicken Alfredo Vegetable Soup with Tortellini

2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2 qts chicken or vegetable stock
2 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
salt and pepper
2 c. frozen cheese filled tortellini
1 jar prepared alfredo sauce (i used Bertolli Roasted Red pepper flavor)

In a large stockpot, saute vegetables in olive oil until soft. Stir in basil and oregano. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, stirring occasionally until partially cooked. Add in stock, bring to a boil and allow to simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add in tortellini and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in alfredo sauce, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

If thicker soup is desired, make a paste of 2 T. soft butter and 2 T. flour and stir into soup. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off raw flour taste. Use more butter and flour if a thicker soup is your thing.

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Summer Garden Tortellini

From Gourmet magazine, August 2007
1# cheese filled tortellini
1 clove garlic, minced
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
2 ½ c. corn kernels
1 red pepper, cored and diced**
2-3 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
2-4 T. cooked wheat berries** (optional, I thought they would add to the healthy oomph)
½ c. shredded spinach**
¼ c. chopped basil
Salt and pepper

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and reserve about ½ c. pasta cooking water. Saute pepper over medium heat in 2 T. of butter until soft, add prosciutto, garlic and corn and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine with tomatoes in large bowl and add cooked, drained tortellini, wheatberries, spinach and basil. Stir gently to combine, adding some pasta water if needed. Add in shredded parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes: The items with the two stars (**) are items I added to the recipe myself. I know very few people who keep cooked wheatberries on hand; they are not an essential to this recipe so don’t worry about them. The spinach was a really tasty addition, and the pepper is a favorite of mine- hardly any vegetable dish gets made in my house without a pretty colored pepper.

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