Friday, January 8, 2016

Soup...Good for the Heart and Soul

Heart Healthy Tortellini Soup
When I first started Kitchen Clatter a little over three years ago, I wrote about a "heart healthy soup" that to date, has become the fourth most downloaded KC blog. This came to my attention when I was reading my most recent analytical report. For example; the tortellini soup recipe below, first posted in March of 2013, continues to register good numbers in search platforms.

I discovered this recipe reading in a doctor's waiting room during the first year of Kitchen Clatter. The soup ingredients, which included, olive oil, garlic and white wine, intrigued me. So I took a picture of it with my phone, made it, fell in love with it, and wrote about it. And now, 3 years later, it is still getting passed around. I love being informed about who is reading the blog, and more fascinating is, where they are reading it.

The most recent showing that this recipe, posted as "heart healthy", is very popular in Russia right now. Russia? This usually bitter cold region is known for hearty stock soups usually made from root vegetables. It is a little surprising to learn that this tortellini "light" soup is popular there. But then, I did a little research and found a common soup known as Shchi that rivals the very popular Weight Watchers cabbage soup. (For those still keeping their resolutions.) The addition of russet potatoes may take it out of the diet soup cycle, but the cabbage still does it's job! Those who have made the famous WW soup recipe, know what I am talking about. Anyway, for the thousands of readers who joined us after 2013, I decided to post the "Heart Healthy" soup recipe again, along with my new favorite; the Russian Shchi soup!

Heart Healthy Tortellini Soup Ingredients:

(1) 32 oz can, plus (1) 12 oz can of your favorite low-sodium chicken broth
(3) tbls of extra virgin olive oil
(4) gloves of finely minced garlic
(1) 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
(1/4 cup) of white wine
(1) bag of baby spinach
(1 or 2 - if you prefer more) bag(s) of Barilla 3-cheese tortellini


Saute the minced garlic slowly in the olive oil so as not to burn (I've done this, and there is no way to fix burnt garlic - so nice and slow!) Add the wine. Once the steam cooks off the alcohol, add the can of diced tomatoes and let simmer for about 20 minutes on very low setting. Now add both cans of the chicken broth. Once this mixture is bubbling, add the bag of baby spinach. Now you have something really wonderful cooking!

The last step is strictly personal preference. I boil water in a separate sauce pan to cook the tortellini's in. You could add it directly to the broth to, but I don't like all the starch that it adds so I cook and drain separately, so the pasta doesn't become a thickening agent in the soup. I do this with all soups that require some type of pasta because it is the way I prefer it. Make it the way that you would like it. After I drain the pasta, I add it to the simmering sauce and "boom", you have the tastiest, quickest, almost homemade soup you can make. With the spinach, the garlic, the white wine and olive oil,  I call it my "Heart Healthy Tortellini Soup", but you can call it anything you want. Add a loaf of good crusty bread and you have a meal!

Shchi Soup Ingredients:
Russian Shchi Soup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 large head cabbage cut into shreds
  • 1 large peeled and coarsely grated carrot
  • 1 chopped celery rib
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Black peppercorns to taste
  • 8 cups water or vegetable stock or chicken stock (more flavor)
  • 2 large peeled and coarsely chopped russet potatoes
  • 2 large peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes or 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh dill for garnish
  • Sour cream for garnish

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, sauté onion in butter until translucent. Add cabbage, carrots and celery and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bay leaf, peppercorns and water or stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.

Add potatoes to soup and bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings.

Photos by ImageGoggle & Jo Ann Phelps
Shchi Soup recipe courtesy of


  1. Sounds like a wonderful Italian soup! Everything my Mom made was always fresh and with natural ingredients, which was good for you. Simple and best ingredients work so well. Thanks for re-posting!

  2. You're welcome. I love soup but not creamy broths. Not a bisque lover at all. The broth in this soup is so flavorful I sometimes put it in a cup and drink it like tea!!