Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chicken Tortellini Soup and a Menu Plan for the Week

Cooking soup was the plan for today and this is for dinner on Monday.  I am the only one home, so I thought I would get ahead for the week!

Even though it is for tomorrow, I had to cheat and have a little bowl for lunch.  It was delicious if I do say so myself.

 Carol from CT on a Budget gives me a great deal of frugal inspiration.  If you haven't checked out her blog yet, go right now!  Add it to your feed and you won't be sorry.  Just by incorporating SOME of her strategies, you will save a great deal of money!  Most of my ingredients are pictured, but I did add a few other things.
I chopped the whole onion pictured above with 5 carrots and 2 stalks of celery in my small food processor so it was all in little bits.  That is the way my family prefers their soup.  I cooked it in about 2 or 3 Tbsp. of olive oil until soft.  When I went to return the rest of the veggies to the refrigerator a saw a sad little 8 oz. package of mushrooms so I chopped them up and threw them into the pot.  The beauty is that my mushroom hater won't be able to pick them out from the chopped chicken, so I am safe and the mushrooms didn't get wasted!

 I added 6 cans of broth, 2 1/2 cups of water, pepper to taste and a little bouillon and let it gently boil a few minutes to make sure the veggies were tender. 
I chopped about 1/2 of that bag of precooked chicken and onions (qt. sized) 2 pictures up in my food processor and threw it in with the spinach and let it cook 2 or 3 more minutes.

 I then stirred the tortellini into the pot and removed it from the burner.  There was enough residual heat for the tortellini to be fully cooked when I returned in 10 or 15 minutes.  This step actually has nothing to do with frugality (that is just an added bonus) it has to do with not wanting the tortellini to turn to mush!

This is the final result in my Tupperware 17 cup servalier bowl!  It had to be close to 20 cups of soup when you count what I had for lunch in my red soup crock above.

This recipe could be made much cheaper than I made it.  I look to be realistically frugal, but still make things that my family enjoys with ingredients we love.  For example, some people make their own broth and freeze it after roasting a turkey or chicken.  Sometimes I get a great deal on packaged broth with coupons.  That was not the case with the broth I used today.  As I already mentioned, you could use a different pasta, my boys just happen love soup with tortellini.  I will say though that my spinach was free after gas points at my local store and my chicken was bought on sale and I precooked it with onions and froze it for later use.  This whole frugal, domestic path has to be what works for you and your family or you won't stick to it for the long haul.  I often wish I could be more like some of the other bloggers I follow, but I have to do what works for me.  Keep this is mind as you read other peoples blogs.  There is not one clear way for us to do things.  We are all at different places with career, income, lifestyle, age, debt (or debt freedom) and there isn't a one size fits all solution.

Onto the menu plan for the week:
Sunday - nothing- the rest of the family went to see the hobbit and out to eat.
Monday - chicken tortellini soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
Tuesday - ham and cheese omelets with toast
Wednesday - hamburger helper (yuck - I will eat leftover soup, but the rest of my family actually likes this and asks for it) and carrots
Thursday - rigatoni with meat sauce and some type of frozen veggie
Friday - fried fish, parsley potatoes and a mixture of peas and corn
Saturday - roasted turkey (I have a 20 pounder that I want out of my freezer as it is taking up too much room), mashed potatoes, stuffing (just stove top) and a mixture of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.
Sunday - turkey pot pie


  1. Your soup looks delicious! thanks for the shout out.
    Carol in CT

  2. I am going to make some tortellini soup this weekend but I am going to use a tomato base. I hadn't even thought about the pasta getting all floppy but thanks for the heads up because now I won't put it in too early. I am making it in the crock pot for a party so I hope to make it for everyone to like and not adding a lot of extras. Grilled cheese sounds kind of yummy with it but since we are having a party, I am doing Mango BBQ chicken sliders with the shredded chicken on pretzel rolls. All of the things that I did get while couponing for super cheap. It is great to make things super cheap but such is the case with our stockpile that if you don't have the broth and you need it, it certainly can add up. I actually started making my own broth and freezing it. I love it!! Do you make yours ever? I don't know if I could go back because it is so cheap and easy but it also so flavorful!!! I am a mushroom hater too :)