- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 ounces baby carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 9 ounces cheese tortellini, frozen or fresh
- 2 cups freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 ounces fresh baby spinach
- Warm a large pot over medium-high heat. Once you can feel the heat when you hold your hand 6 inches above the pot, add the butter and let it melt. Add the onion and carrots. Cook the vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Then add the chicken, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes, just to get a little color on the chicken, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry about the chicken being cooked through, because we are going to continue cooking it.
- Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and veggies. Stir to coat everything and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes to cook out the floury taste. Stir in the chicken stock, half-and-half and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking until the soup thickens, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the tortellini to the pot and cook until al dente (has a bite to it), 5 to 7 minutes (frozen takes longer). Remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle a handful of cheese over the soup and stir. Once it has melted into the soup, add another handful. Slowly melting the cheese will give the soup a smooth consistency. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary. Pour into bowls and garnish with the spinach.
- To reheat cream or cheese soup, warm it in a pot on the stove top over low heat, stirring frequently. Add milk to loosen the soup. Cheese- or milk-based soups need to be warmed slowly to prevent them from separating or having a grainy texture.