A yummy way to use leftover holiday turkey is to make Creamy Turkey Tortellini Soup! Or use chicken for Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup! A hearty, filling soup that is a meal by itself because it has meat, pasta and veggies in one flavorful, nutritious pot! Creamy, warm comfort food on a chilly day! When I ran across the original recipe, it was instant “oh that sounds good.” Well, it wasn’t. Have you ever had one of those epic fails? But it was intriguing enough that we ate the whole huge batch, trying to analyze what made it such a failure and what could be done to make it better. Even more intriguing because Wheels and Bytes are usually from the “inhale and move on” school. You get the improved and downsized version and I hope you like it as much as we do!
Because we started out with major tweaks, we found that this is one of those recipes with lots of options. Instead of turkey, use left over chicken. Or buy rotisserie chicken, prepackaged or frozen cubed chicken, diced canned chicken. Or start from scratch like I usually do and cook a couple of medium sized chicken breasts. You can use the microwave. If starting with frozen breasts, do two minute bursts at 50% power until well thawed and then two minute bursts at 80% power until cooked through. Or poach the chicken breast in just enough water to cover until cooked through and use the broth to replace canned broth in equal measure. Or grill until cooked through, using a countertop grill. Choose the method that suits your taste, time and mood.
Cook and then cube. You will need about one and one half cups cubed chicken. But any amount between one and two cups will work just fine. See, even the measurements are flexible. Start with the measurements for the garlic and herbs and adjust them to your taste. We like things a bit on the mild side without any one flavor taking over. A note about salt: I prefer to use low sodium products and, if necessary, add salt when cooking. That way I am in control of the taste and, more importantly, the amount of sodium in the dish.
The tortellini and turkey / chicken are the star of this show, but the vegetables are an essential part of the yumminess. I use Birds Eye Mixed Vegetables – 12 ounce frozen package – because I like the varying textures and colors in the mix. You can substitute about two cups of leftover vegetables such as corn, peas, bell peppers, beans, carrots in any combination.
The shredded Parmesan cheese on top of the bowl full of soup is a nice touch and gives a bit of unexpected melty flavor. Opt for it
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