It was 7 degrees when I got up yesterday morning and I spent the entire day trying to chase away the winter chill. All I wanted was a nice, hot, savory bowl of minestrone soup that ate like a modest meal. The trouble is, most of what makes a good minestrone isn’t necessarily GP-friendly. There was a bag of low fat cheese tortellini stashed in the freezer and not surprising, a box of organic chopped spinach snuggled next to it. My Ode to Minestrone Soup aka Tortellini Soup is really a hearty twist on traditional tortellini soup which is commonly served as a simple chicken broth with some parsley and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. When shopping for cheese tortellini read the package carefully as some brands are much lower in fat than others. I’ve used Mama Rosie’s frozen cheese tortellini. A full serving of 28 pieces contains 260 calories, 3 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein…I certainly can’t eat 28 pieces so each serving of soup consists of 14 tortellini at 130 calories, 1.5 grams fat and 5 grams of protein.
I thought a nice dusting of freshly grated parmesan cheese would finish off the soup nicely but then decided to make this simple meal a little more special by baking off a few Frico. A frico is simply a thin, delicate parmesan crisp that’s toasted in the oven. They are very simple to make and the cooking concentrates the nutty, salty goodness that is Parmigiano Reggiano.
Ode to Minestrone Soup aka Tortellini Soup
Combining beef and chicken broth gives the soup a heartier flavor. I’ve kept things simple but feel free to add any veggies (carrots, zucchini) that are GP-friendly for you for more of a Minestrone feel.
4 cups beef broth
4 cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1 bay leaf
56 low fat cheese tortellini
1/2 of 10 ounce box frozen, chopped spinach-defrosted, excess water squeezed out
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated nutmeg
Bring beef and chicken broths, garlic cloves, tomato paste, Italian herb seasoning and bay leaf to a simmer. Cook until fragrant and garlic is soft enough to smash into a paste on the side of the pan. Alternatively, remove the garlic cloves if desired. Bring soup to a boil and cook tortellini until very tender (Mama Rosie’s recommends 15 minutes). Stir in spinach and warm through. Season to taste with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Serve 14 tortellini per portion with a Frico on the side for crumbling over the soup.
Nutritional Information Per Serving: 14 tortellini per bowl of soup
170 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 8 grams protein
Courtesy of Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie Season One. These are simple three ingredient parmesan crisps that pack a salty, nutty punch of Parmigiano Reggiano flavor. Don’t skimp on the parmesan…use real Parmigiano Reggiano for the best results.
1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano coarsely shredded on the largest holes of a box grater
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and using a compass or biscuit cutter draw six 3″ circles about 4″ apart with a pencil. Turn parchment over so the graphite is on the other side of the paper. Mix shredded cheese, flour and pepper. Place a tablespoon of the mixture in the center of each circle stirring ingredients between each spoonful. Flatten mounds to fill each circle. Bake for 10 minutes (I like mine to get a little toasty and golden). Remove pan and cool on a rack for 2 minutes. Remove parchment paper with frico to the rack and allow to cool and crisp. Repeat with remaining sheet pan. Store frico in an airtight container with parchment or wax paper between each layer. Will keep for 3 days.
Nutritional Information Per Serving: 1 Frico per serving
33 calories, 2 grams fat, o grams fiber, 2.8 grams protein