Since the number one advice people ask me for is food-related, I’m going to start posting with a taste-approved health-ified recipe every week with reasons for why I made the revisions I did. The temps are finally starting to drop here at home and the leaves are finally changing color and for me, this always brings with it a desire to eat creamy comfort foods. Thus, I thought I’d start with a simple fall favorite.
Most of the recipes I come across that inspire me are on either Pinterest (see my Pinterest food pins here) or this awesome blog. I almost never cook from recipes directly though. I change bits and pieces of it to make it healthier to my satisfaction (or my/D’s taste buds). A good friend told me that I “go by the recipe”…with an asterisk. 🙂
About a month ago, I came across this original recipe.
I changed it to this:
- 2 whole large cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 roma tomatoes – I replaced the condensed tomato soup with roma tomatoes. Though the condensed soup provides more thickness, I figured the coconut milk would make up for the creaminess. Romas compared to condensed tomato soup also have less calories per serving (27 versus 90), less sodium (7mg versus 480mg), less sugar (4g versus 12g) and more vitamin C (32% versus 10%). Romas are also obviously not processed like condensed soup is.
- 2 handfuls of spinach, torn
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large can full-fat coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is the brand I use)- I replaced the half-and-half with coconut milk because coconut milk has no cholesterol (compared to 90mg cholesterol in 1 cup of half-and-half, more iron and magnesium, and about the same amount of protein. Coconut milk does, surprisingly, have more saturated fat though (51g per cup versus 17g in half-and-half). Reduced fat coconut milk would also work as a substitution, but would not be nearly as creamy. Coconut milk also does not have casein, while half-and-half does.
- 2 cups vegetable broth- I replaced chicken broth with vegetable “broth.” Instead of broth in general, though, out of laziness, I often just mix the amount of water I need with a block of Organic Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt and Herbs by Rapunzel.
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt- I omitted the salt. Use it if you want to.
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 whole 9 oz package of whole wheat cheese tortellini- I always try to find a whole wheat pasta alternative rather than white pasta whenever I can because it doesn’t spike glucose as much and the whole wheat option is less processed and has more protein in it. If you want to make this recipe vegan, you can make the recipe with a non-cheese tortellini or other pasta and omit the parmesan.
- 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese- You can add this or not. The original recipe calls for it as a topping, but I mixed it into the sauce for some added thickness. It’s quite tasteful without any extra cheese though.
Directions: Saute garlic with olive oil in medium pot. When garlic is done, add tomatoes, coconut milk, vegetable broth, parmesan and spices. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, drop tortellini into soup. Cook according to package directions. After the tortellini are cooked, ladle soup into bowls and top with parmesan if desired.
My picky husband declared this a “definite make-again” and said it was “the best soup you’ve ever made.” And when he gives something accolades like that, I know it is safe to share with you all!
Enjoy this soup- ideally next to a fire while leaves are falling outside. 🙂