It seems like the seasons change in a blink of an eye, and just like that it’s winter. Right now it’s all about the holidays, football, and cooler weather comfort food. A big pot of soup is one of my favorite cooler weather meals; there are endless ways change them up, and there is always enough to take for lunch the next day! The only rule in my house is that soup has to be hearty, and this Italian inspired soup is packed with tender chicken, fresh veggies and tortellini, which combines two of my favorites – pasta and cheese!
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 lb. cooked chicken
4 cups (32 oz. chicken broth)
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, including juices
9 oz. container cheese tortellini (can be found in the refrigerated section)
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
2 celery stalks
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
Preheat stock pot on medium-low heat. Add olive oil and sauté onion, celery and garlic until translucent, about 5-7 min. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes and Italian seasonings, and bring to a simmer. Add diced zucchini and chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn heat up to medium and add tortellini to pot. Cook according to package instructions (mine was 7-9 minutes). Stir in baby spinach and let cook one minute more. Garnish with chopped basil and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Anginetti Cookies (or Italian Lemon Drop Cookies), are a very popular holiday cookie in my native New York, but less known in other parts of the country. Like a lot of Italian cookies, they aren’t overly sweet, and they are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. They are lemon-y, a little crumbly, and without a doubt, one of my favorites!
Ingredients (makes 24 cookies):
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon (approx. 2 tsp.)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Juice from ½ lemon (approx. 1 tbsp.)
3-4 tbsp. warm water
To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Add eggs, one at a time and beat for one minute until fluffy. Stir in flour and baking soda and mix well to fully incorporate. Roll cookie dough into 1” rounds and place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake approximately 18 minutes until starting to turn golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before icing.
To make the icing: Melt butter in a microwave soft bowl. Wisk in sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and 3 tbsp. warm water. Microwave icing for 10-15 seconds. Add additional tbsp. warm water only if needed to brush on to cookies. Top with sprinkles if desired and transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!