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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seafood Soup with Tortellini

For day 26 of Soup Month 2013, we made a delicious weeknight soup.  If you're looking for something quick and easy to make after a long day at work, this soup will be something the whole family will enjoy.

This Seafood Soup combines shrimp, canned clams and surimi with an assortment of vegetables and cheese filled tortellini pasta, so you have an entire meal in one bowl.  Although tonight we used water as a base for this soup, a fresh batch of seafood stock would also taste great.  Stock takes a little time to make since it requires time to simmer, so weekends are a great time to make a big batch of stock and then freeze it in portions for later use.  You can also add the optional lobster base to the water or broth which adds a lot of seafood flavor.

Since the shrimp and pasta cook very quickly in the broth, the cooking time is pretty fast for this meal.  The surimi crab meat and clams are already cooked and ready to go, so they are both great time savers that add lots of flavor to the soup.  Fresh spinach is another quick-cooking item that cooks in just a few minutes, but adds color and nutrition to the soup.  As a bonus, I have one daughter that doesn't care for spinach if it's cooked from frozen, but she loves fresh cooked spinach in soups, and I love that!  Enjoy!!

2 tsp  Olive Oil
1 small  Onion, diced
1 medium  Red Pepper, diced
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  White Pepper
1/4 cup  Flour
5 cups  Water or Seafood Stock
2 tsp  Lobster Base (optional)
2 cans  Chopped Clams with Juice
1 TB  Minced Fresh Chives
1 pkg  Rosetto Cheese Tortellini Pasta
1 lb  Raw Shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 lb  Sirimi Imitation Crab Meat Sticks, cut into cubes
1 cup  Half and Half  or  Cream
2 cups  Fresh Spinach, washed and stems removed

Heat olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion, red pepper, salt and pepper and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stirring to coat, and continue to cook for 3 minutes.

Add the water or broth, and lobster base if using, to the pot and stir.  Add the clams and chives, and increase heat to medium-high.

Add the tortellini to the pot and bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring frequently.  When the tortellini begin to rise to the top of the soup, add the shrimp to the pot, cook for 2 minutes, then add the crab meat to the pot and cook 2 minutes more, stirring gently.

Add the half and half or cream to the pot and bring the soup to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, add the spinach to the soup and continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with fresh minced chives and grated Parmesan cheese.

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