Slow and Comforting Vegetable Soup

or how I survived the loss of our fridge, a freezer and pantry based soup

So, balancing our new little angel and our temporary financial constraints of me being off work for FMLA to care for her has been challenging.  Add into that the time it took me to heal, the time it took to develop a new routine, and a few unexpected events and you have a recipe for a seriously delayed return to my beloved cooking blog.  Fortunately I have been cooking, so once things sort themselves out a bit more I do actually have recipes to share.  Today's recipe comes to you straight from our most recent unexpected event - the untimely demise of our fridge's control panel.  We have been without our full size fridge and freezer for five days now and let me tell you, it has certainly made me creative in using up what we have on hand.

This recipe quite honestly surprised me, I had my doubts up until I had a bowlful in front of me.  It started with a turkey I made yesterday that had been residing in our freezer before the catastrophic event.  Said turkey yielded a tasty stock overnight in the slow cooker.  The 101 F day outside today kept me away from the stove, so it made perfect sense to carry on in the slow cooker for dinner tonight as well.  I raided the remaining freezer vegetables we had in our small back up freezer outside (I had to clear out more room for breast milk storage for our little one), then I raided the pantry.  What I came up with is not really a standard vegetable soup mix, but it definitely did the trick.  And nothing perks up a frustrating day like an easy comfort food dinner.  The key to the broth balance in this soup is the starch from the cannelloni beans and tortellini, it adds a nice touch to the light tomato base that is started by the stock and crushed tomatoes.  You can of course mix up the vegetables based on what you like or have on hand, but I suggest sticking with the starch providers for optimal results.  Check it out:

13 oz (1/2 of a large can) crushed tomatoes
2 quarts turkey, chicken, or vegetable stock
1/2 bag frozen peas
1/2 bag frozen green beans
1/2 can drained cannelloni beans
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp Italian Spice Blend
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp chicken seasoning
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 cups dried four cheese tortellini
Parmesan cheese

Hardware: slow cooker (crockpot)

1. Pour the first five ingredients into the slow cooker and stir well to combine.

2. Add in all of the seasonings and onion then stir again.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

3. When there is an hour left in the cook time, stir in the tortellini.  Cover and cook for the remaining hour.

4. Stir well and serve topped with a bit of shredded or shaved parmesan cheese.

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