Monday, January 21, 2008

Sickie Soup

Oy vey, the first part of this month I had a terrible cold, replete with fluid that filled my ears and made it hard to hear. What? Oh yes, I'm feeling better now, thanks. When one is sick and has a partner, spouse or roommate, there's a built-in Nurse Agreement for when one of you can't leave the couch (well, hopefully; if your arrangement does not include this deal, perhaps it's time to re-examine your options?). However, when you live solo and have difficulty asking for help *ahem* it presents a problem: what do you make for yourself when you're ill and just getting up to use the loo makes you sway?
I offer you my solution: Sickie Soup.
Please forgive the shaky hand~I was super-sick when I took this!
This soup has just 3 ingredients (with 2 optional additions), all of which can be kept in your larder so you don't have to forage beyond the front door. The best part? It's delicious even when you're not ill; serve it to guests and they'll never suspect you tossed it together in a mattter of minutes.

Sickie Soup*
Serves 3-4

about 1/3 of a 1lb. bag of dried cheese tortellini (Trader Joe's brand is nice)
2 14-oz. cans chicken broth (Swanson's is tastiest)
a fist-sized chunk of frozen spinach OR 3 handfuls of fresh spinach
optional pinch of nutmeg
optional grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Boil the tortellini in a pot of boiling salted water until just barely al dente. (Resist the urge to boil them in the chicken broth; canned stock has a fair amount of sodium and in the time it takes to cook the pasta the broth will reduce and become terribly salty.) Drain well. Rinse out pot; add chicken stock, cooked tortellini, spinach, optional nutmeg and ground pepper to taste. Briefly bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Serve with additional ground pepper and optional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

*This recipe was inspired by a similar version made by my Aunt Linda Petrone, whose cooking and warm heart always made me feel loved and cared for.

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