Spinach Tortellini Soup

Recently, my husband and I dined at a restaurant that served a wonderful Spinach Tortellini Soup.  When we arrived home, I looked through my many cookbooks to locate a similar recipe to prepare for our dinner table.  Finding more than one recipe created a dilemma…”Which recipe will I fix?”  I took a little of this and a little of that from each recipe and came up with my own.  I had never heard of  Acini di Pepe before. I’ve had soups or other dishes with these tiny, bead-shaped pasta, but never had prepared anything that contained them.  Acini di Pepe are Italian for “peppercorns.”  To my surprise, I did not have a hard time finding these interesting little characters at the supermarket. When researching to find out what I could about this new, found ingredient, I came across a fun recipe, with Acini di Pepe as an ingredient.  The recipe is for “Frog’s Eye Salad.”  My grandchildren will surely love this one!    
(Printable Copy)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups spinach, stemmed and chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 (9-ounce) package cheese or meat tortellini
2 tablespoons Acini di Pepe pasta
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
coarsely ground fresh pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated

 onion, celery, garlic
 olive oil, coarsely ground fresh pepper
 key ingredient – SPINACH
 New discovery!
 All ingredients simmering
 A close-up