Tuscan Chicken Tortellini Soup (Crock-pot or Stove-Top)



As the weather is cooling off, now is a wonderful time to make a big pot of this hearty and healthy main course soup!  I adore soup meals because they are so satisfying. Each bowl of goodness has 300 calories, 4 grams of fat and 4 Weight Watches Freestyle SmartPoints. This makes a large pot and happily leftovers freeze great!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Stove-Top Time: 20 minutes
Crock-Pot Time: 4 hours on low heat or 2 hours on high heat


Ingredients

1 cup onions, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, I like Swanson’s

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 (15 oz) can white beans rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste 

1 (9-10 oz) package refrigerated cheese tortellini, I used Trader Joe’s, see shopping tips

2 cups cooked chicken, diced, see shopping tips

2 cups fresh spinach leaves, packed

1 cup reduced-fat milk

Grated parmesan cheese for topping (optional)


Instructions

1. To Make on Stove-Top: Add onions to a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute, to soften.

2. in a large pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic, softened onions and sauté for a minute or so. Stir in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, beans, Italian seasoning, and a little salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

3. In the meantime, cook tortellini separately. Follow package directions. Drain and set aside.

4. To the pot of soup add cooked chicken, cooked tortellini, spinach and milk. Let simmer for 5 minutes until heated completely. When ready to serve, sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese, if desired.

5. To Make in Crock-Pot: Add all ingredients except the chicken, tortellini, spinach and milk, into a crock-pot and let it cook on low heat for 3 ½ hours. Next, mix into soup the cooked chicken, spinach and milk. Cook for another 30 minutes until heated through. In the meantime, cook tortellini separately. Once soup is ready, stir in cooked tortellini. When ready to serve, sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Makes 8 servings. Each serving 1½ cups.


Healthy Benefits
Cooked tomatoes contain lycopene. This carotenoid is found in tomatoes (and everything made from them) has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties.

Spinach provides an excellent source of both


Shopping Tips
I used Trader Joe’s Cheese Tortellini. It’s fresh pasta and found in the refrigerated section. Most supermarkets carry a few brands of fresh cheese tortellini such as Buitoni.

I love the packages of grilled chicken breasts strips at Trader Joe’s. Whenever a recipe calls for cooked chicken, I like to use it. Or use a store bought chicken or a package of cooked chicken such as Tyson.


Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints 4
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 5

SKINNY FACTS: for 1½ cup serving
300 calories, 4g fat, 2g sat. fat, 35mg chol, 10g protein, 40g carbs, 10g fiber, 672mg sod, 8g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
122 calories, 1g sat. fat, 2g sugar, 5g protein