Because it’s probably cold where you are…

13 Jan

tomato tortellini soup


Polar Vortex.

Destined to be my favorite phrase of 2014.

I know we’re only a few days into the new year but I have heard that phrase more times that I can count and it’s equally ridiculous to me every time I hear it.

I’m betting that most of you that were seriously in the grasp of the Polar Vortex don’t find it so funny.

The Polar Vortex made things mighty uncomfortable for us Floridians for about three whole days.

People lose their minds here when the temperature drops below 60 degrees so I’m sure you can imagine the situation here when we were experiencing temps in the 30’s and 40’s.

The humanity.

Nevertheless, we survived the blustery, unforgiving, 3-day long winter of 2014 with our sanity mostly intact.

But because it’s still pretty cold for most of you guys right now, I think soup just feels right.

I know, I know. We just talked about soup a few days ago.

Well, get ready because this is happening.

We’re also using marinara again because it makes things so much easier.

This soup isn’t vegan or gluten free or dairy free or fat free.

It is meat free so there’s that. Hey vegetarians!

And I make no apologies because what it is is hearty, creamy, and just plain good which is just what you need when it is ridiculously cold outside.

Sure. You can certainly make your own marinara from scratch and if you have the time, I whole-heartedly encourage you to do so.

However, using a good quality jarred marinara is so much easier and comes already seasoned. It’s also less expensive than buying all of the ingredients you’ll need to make marinara from scratch if you don’t already have them lying around your kitchen.

What do I mean by good quality?

Well, the next time you go shopping for marinara and spot one that looks promising, go ahead and flip that jar over and look at the ingredient list on the back. Check for things like high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, lots of sodium and/or sugar, yeast extract, and soy bean oil.

Do you see any of those things?

No? Great! That jar goes home with you.

Yes? Put that jar right back on the shelf.


Let’s look at it this way… if you were making your own marinara at home, would you add any of those things?

No. No you wouldn’t. So you don’t need them in a jarred sauce.

Moving on.

You’ll notice (eventually) that this recipe calls for cream cheese. I realize this seems weird.

I thought it might be weird too until I found myself without heavy cream and just tried it.

If the idea of cream cheese in soup is too much for you, you can always leave it out and just add a good splash of heavy cream instead.

Do what feels right to you.

Adding the cream cheese gives the soup a flavor that is eerily similar to that tomato soup that comes in a red and white can that we all grew up dipping our grilled cheese sandwiches into.

So if you’re into that, stick with the cream cheese.


24-26 oz Jar of marinara – or equivalent amount of the homemade stuff

4 cups of vegetable stock

6 oz. room temperature cream cheese (not low fat)

8 oz. mushrooms (approx.) – chopped or quartered

1 bag fresh spinach – chopped

1 bag frozen tortellini


Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil into a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add the mushrooms.

While the mushrooms saute, add the room-temperature cream cheese to your blender along with 2 cups of stock and blend it up until it is completely smooth. No specks of white should appear.

Pour the cream cheese/stock mixture over the mushrooms along with the remaining 2 cups of stock and the marinara and bring to a simmer.

While the soup simmers, cook tortellini according to package directions.

I prefer to cook pasta separately and then add it to my soup just before serving. Otherwise it just gets too mushy.

However, if you are feeding a crowd, go ahead and cook the tortellini right in the soup.

Once your tortellini has finished cooking, add your chopped spinach. Adding the spinach right at the end will keep it crisp and bright green.

If you opted to use heavy cream instead of cream cheese, now would be the time to add it along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and taste to make sure the seasoning is just right.

To serve, add some tortellini to the bottom of each bowl and just pour the soup over.

Garnish with shredded or shaved parmesan, chopped basil, red chili flakes, whatever you want.



6 Responses to “Because it’s probably cold where you are…”

  1. Mezasu January 16, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    It IS cold here! And this dish looks insanely delicious 🙂


  2. Sara January 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Sounds delish!!! I am going to have to try it!!!


  3. The Great Zambini January 15, 2014 at 12:27 am #

    Hello there, I love your blog, so I nominated you for the one lovely blog award!


  4. Jane January 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    I plan on trying this with Vegan Cream Cheese – found at WF or Natural Grocers – I’ll let you know how it turns out, but I already have my Squash chopped for your Vegan Squash Soup tonight 🙂


    • we_should_be_folding_laundry January 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

      The squash soup is awesome, I’m so glad you like it! I hope you like this one too. Let me know how it turns out with the vegan cream cheese, I’d love to know.


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