Monday, April 16, 2012

The Soup Threw an Uppercut.

I'll bet you thought I'd forgotten about Yummy Monday.  Not a chance.  I've been cooking up a storm.  I just got a little distracted about posting it, is all.  But tonight, you get a beauty.

It was a round of pinteresting food.

In one corner:
Creamy Tortellini Soup.

In the other:
Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Pudding Cups.

I had the outcome of the match all tied up with a pretty little bow.  I figured it probably wasn't even a fair fight.  After all, dessert generally does a TKO on the main course anyway, and when that dessert has "Ghirardelli" in the title?  Well, no competition - am I right?
Combine that with "hot chocolate" and "pudding" and it's a no-brainer.

I decided to watch it play out before jumping to solid conclusion.  I love tortellini.

Find the original Tortellini Soup recipe here at BHG.  I did not use a white sauce mix.  There were a few alterations.  Here's mine.

Creamy Tortellini Soup

4 T butter
4 T flour
4 cups milk
1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth 
1 small package sliced, fresh mushrooms 
1/2 of a small onion, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (7 - 8 oz) package dried cheese tortellini (about 2 cups)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk 
6 C fresh baby spinach leaves or torn spinach
Ground black pepper (to taste)
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Begin by making a roux.  Melt the butter in a pot.  Add the flour and stir with a whisk to combine into a paste.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Add the milk.  Cook on med-high until almost boiling, stirring constantly until it thickens.  Add the broth, mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper.  Cover and cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the tortellini and cook covered for about 30 minutes more.  Add the evaporated milk and the spinach.  Stir to combine.  Dish into bowls and garnish with ground black pepper and parmesan cheese.

To be honest, you can probably omit the evaporated milk and be A-OK.  The original recipe called for evaporated milk, but it was also made in a slow-cooker and used powdered sauce mix and water, so I think it was to make up for that.  If you do the roux method on the stove as I did, I don't think the evaporated milk is necessary.

It was delicious.  I thought I would love it and it did not disappoint.  It wasn't too thick, just the right amount of creaminess, and the cayenne added some unexpected kick to the flavor.  Yum.  Score one for the soup.

Of course, with soup you need some bread.  To sop it all up - according to mr.  We had my mom's homemade wheat (and I mean really homemade - like in the oven, not a bread maker.)  

Sorry, secret recipe or I'd share it with you.

But the dessert was getting all riled up in the ring... the original recipe is from Ghirardelli here.

Hot Chocolate Pudding Cups
1 (10 oz) package of bittersweet chocolate chips (you can use a different brand than ghirardelli, if you really want to.  But why would you want to??)
6 T butter, cut into cubes
4 Large eggs
1/4 C sugar
Homemade whipped cream

Position rack in middle of oven and heat to 350° F. Arrange 6 oven-proof six-ounce coffee cups or mugs in a baking or roasting pan. Melt chocolate and butter in bowl set over simmering water, whisking occasionally until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir eggs and sugar together in separate bowl over simmering water until warm to the touch. With handheld electric beater, beat 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. With spatula, fold eggs into chocolate mixture until light and smooth.  
Spoon batter into cups. Add enough very hot water to the baking pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops of puddings are no longer shiny.
Serve warm, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

I honestly don't believe this dessert needs any adjectives.  Or further commentary.  Was it Heavenly?  I've never been to Heaven.  But I'm pretty sure it's a lot like this.
So who won?
Was it the rookie soup in corner 1?  The all-star champ and everyone's favorite in corner 2?
I'll let you decide.

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

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