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 I didn’t originally plan to include this soup in the project because though it’s delicious and my kids eat it without complaint on a very regular basis, I make it so often it doesn’t feel all that special anymore.  It occurred to me, though, that it may well feel special to YOU, as perhaps you’ve never heard of it.  This is my go-to meal (or one of about five, rather) for when I haven’t planned ahead for dinner and then at 4:00 pm it dawns on me that I’ve got nothing – nutritious or otherwise – planned to feed all these ravenous bellies.  Just be sure to keep some tortellini and some spinach in your freezer at all times, and you’ll always be ready for when the dinner doledrums threaten to overtake.

1 Tbsp. butter
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped. (use it all – honest!)
4 cups chicken broth
6 oz. (170 g.) cheese tortellini
14 oz. can diced tomatoes with liquid
or 2 1/2 cups skinned, chopped fresh ripe tomatoes
10 oz. (300 g) bag of spinach, stems removed
8-10 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
parmesan cheese, grated

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook halfway (about 5 minutes if frozen, less if using fresh.) Add tomatoes and their liquid; reduce heat to simmer and cook just until pasta is tender. Stir in spinach and basil and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

*I should add that if there are to be any activities of the – ahem – romantic persuasion – planned for the subsequent evening, be sure to ensure that both parties partake of this pungently garlicky soup.  Ahem.