I tried Reddit’s viral, creamy, tortellini-packed “The Soup” — and it was totally worth it

The previous few years have introduced us a number of viral soups. There was New Yorker author Helen Rosner’s “Roberto,” a soup that she developed now 9 or ten years in the past, made by “sautéing some onion and garlic with a few links of spicy Italian sausage, dumping in a can of white beans and a can of crushed tomatoes, adding a few cups of chicken stock, and stirring in a fistful of torn kale.”

“The result was good, but not quite good enough, so in went a flurry of grated Parmesan, for savory depth, and a shower of lemon juice, to lend some tart, shimmery brightness,” Rosner wrote for the New Yorker in January 2020. “Almost no individual element of this was original—beans and greens have been the stuff of dinner since beans and greens began—and yet the gestalt had something to it, something unexpectedly right.”

Rosner initially wrote about Roberto in a private e-newsletter that solely went out to a couple hundred subscribers, however amid the pandemic, as extra and extra of us had been cooking at dwelling and documenting that effort, Roberto gained worldwide recognition because of soup followers making and sharing their riffs on the versatile recipe. 

Several months later, Alison Roman’s internet-famous New York Time’s recipe for Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Turmeric (which some argued was truly a curry and ought to have been labeled as corresponding to a deserved acknowledgement of culinary traditions that are not Roman’s personal) went viral but once more because of its utilization of pantry staples like coconut milk and canned chickpeas. 

 “The Stew” grew to become shorthand for the recipe; now, once you search #TheStew on Instagram, you may be offered with practically 10,000 practically similar pictures of bowls stuffed with golden-yellow chickpeas topped with dollops of creamy yogurt and chopped cilantro. 

While some recipes which have seen surging recognition on social media aren’t essentially worth the hype (like, ahem, Mississippi pot roast), most soups are excellent given that each Rosner and Roman’s recipes are objectively excellent: the suitable mixture of substances turns into a lot higher than the sum of their elements with just a bit warmth and time. 

That’s why I should admit I was fairly optimistic about attempting yet one more viral soup — a tortellini and tomato-packed quantity that has now been ceremoniously dubbed “The Soup” by Reddit customers over the a number of weeks. 

The r/slowcooking subreddit is at the moment filled with posts titled “Finally made The Soup — you guys weren’t kidding, it’s so good,” “the soup lived up to all the hype 10/10” and “Obligatory ‘The soup’ post. Thank you this sub for recommending!” 


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“The Soup” was initially revealed on the meals weblog 365 Days of Slow and Pressure Cooking in October 2017 as Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini, Spinach and Chicken Soup.

“You guys, this is a soup that you absolutely have to try,” recipe developer Karen Bellessa Petersen wrote. “It is so super good. For reals! You are going to love it. It’s like a creamy tomato soup with cheesy tortellini and chicken and then a pop of color from the bright green spinach.” 

Petersen’s model is made in a sluggish cooker or Instant Pot and requires a easy checklist of substances, a few of which you will have already got in your pantry: tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, chopped yellow onion, garlic, dried basil, hen thighs, spinach, cream or half-and-half and — arguably crucial addition — frozen cheese tortellini. 

After a complete of three to 6 hours within the sluggish cooker (or till the hen is “very tender”), a comparatively hands-off dinner is served. 

As I talked about, Petersen’s recipe is designed for sluggish cooker or Instant Pot cooking. I really feel like I’m one of many few people on the market who’ve neither equipment; I gave my brother my Instant Pot after it sat unused on my countertop and I’m at the moment out there for a small sluggish cooker, principally so I could make soup, paradoxically. So, I simply used my helpful Dutch oven for the hours of essential simmering. 

Petersen’s model of “The Soup” additionally begins with a “microwave roux,” made by combining the chopped onions, flour, dried basil, garlic tomato paste and olive oil in a microwave-safe bowl and then nuking it for 5 minutes, stirring each 90 seconds or so. 

Since I was going to be utilizing my stovetop to cook dinner anyhow, I merely made a standard roux for thickening the soup. 

Finally, like many excellent soups, “The Soup” is fairly riffable. I swapped in contemporary basil for dried, contemporary tomatoes for canned, and used bone-in and skin-on hen thighs as an alternative of boneless and skinless; all these selections had been made just because these had been the substances I already had in my kitchen. I merely popped it on the range proper earlier than lunch and by the point dinner rolled round, I had a extremely fresh-tasting, however decadent meal ready for me. 

Initially, I simply garnished it with some shaved Parm and parsley for a bit further pop of verdance, however then I remembered that I had a brand new jar of purple pepper flakes and some toasty croutons in my pantry — each of which undoubtedly made it into my bowl. 

“If I could eat this soup every day this winter, I would be happy,” Petersen wrote of her recipe. After attempting it, I should say that I’m inclined to agree

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