Monday, January 13, 2014

Souped up Ratatouille

This is becoming a broken record, so I might as well say it again, "I have the best network of internet cooking friends who are always inspiring me with their creations." Sometimes it's a burger or dessert or a casserole or dip. But tonight it was Susan B's Ratatouille Soup with Sausage and Tortellini. Her recipe is posted on JAP and the minute I saw this dish of loveliness I knew I'd be making it. Doesn't that bowl of veggies, pasta, meatballs and tomatoes look like a little bit of heaven? And best of all, it's a quick soup. I altered her recipe ever so slightly by adding my fav Old Bay Seasoning, a few red pepper flakes and the addition of mini chicken meatballs (instead of the sausage) and I'm thrilled with the results. Hearty and Healthy is what I was looking for, and that's exactly what I got!

Ratatouille Soup with Tortellini and Chicken Meatballs
Makes maybe 6 servings

4 T olive oil
1 medium onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
1 medium zucchini diced
1 small eggplant diced
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp oregano
1-1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 28 oz jar Marinara sauce (I used Newman's Own Roasted Garlic and Pepppers)
32 ounces fat free/lower sodium chicken broth

1/2 pound ground chicken
3 cloves garlic grated
1 large egg beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 12 oz frozen bag Tri-Color Cheese tortellini

Ready to cook? I'm ready to re-live the experience and imagine the aromas in my kitchen. Let's get to it. Dice all vegetables and garlic.

In large pan on stovetop, add your olive oil and heat on medium low. Add your veggies, but not the garlic just yet. Cook a few minutes until veg starts to soften. Now add the garlic, salt, pepper, Old Bay and oregano. If you like a little heat, add a 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. You know I did. Cook another 5 minutes.

When the vegetables are softened and seasoned (don't let them get mushy), it's time to add the liquid. Pour in your marinara.  Then your broth. Increase heat to a low simmer and cook while you make the mini meatballs.

To make the meatballs, combine beaten egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and grated garlic. When incorporated into a smooth mixture add the chicken and mix well. Start forming your mini meatballs abour 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Drop them into the broth/marinara/vegetable liquid and cook about 5-7 minutes. They are so tiny they cook in no time. Now add the tortellini. Keep the soup at a simmer and they will be done in 3-5 minutes. Ladle up and serve. I hope you enjoy!

Thanks for a great recipe Susan. I'll be making this often, and hopefully others will too. It's a another tasty way to get through these winter months.


Susan Bickta said...

Oh wow!!! What an honor! I'm so glad you liked my recipe. I knew it was special when my 90 year old mother tasted it and gave it her "thumbs up"!! You're changes/additions sound delicious and I'll be sure to make your version in the near future. Those chicken meatballs sound wonderful! Thanks again, for trying my recipe!

Linda said...

My pleasure Susan. Feel free to post your "inspiration recipe" link in the comments. I didn't feel I had the right to do that. Super delish, and even though I cut back on some of the liquids, I still got a lotta food to eat this week. (not complaining tho)Hopefully I'll be sharing with some friends at work. Thanks so much!