1.8 oz envelope of white sauce
4 cups water
14 oz can vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
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
7 or 8 oz package dried cheese tortellini, about two cups
12 oz can evaporated milk
6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves or torn spinach
Ground black pepper (optional)
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
Begin by placing the 1.8 oz envelope of white sauce mix into a three and a half or four-quart slow cooker. Next, gradually add the four cups of water to the white sauce mix. Be sure to stir the mixture with the water to make sure they combine well, and you end with a smooth sauce. After the white sauce is ready, stir in the vegetable broth, mushrooms, onions, garlic, basil, salt, oregano and cayenne pepper.
Once all the ingredients are added together and stirred well to ensure they are evenly spread throughout the slow cooker, cover the slow cooker and cook on a low heat setting for five to six hours. Alternatively, you can cook it on a high heat setting for 2 and a half to three hours.
After the sauce has been cooking for several hours, depending on the heat setting, add in the dried tortellini. Stir it in to spread them out throughout the sauce. Then, cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for an additional hour, or for an additional 45 minutes on a high heat.
Once the additional time is up, stir in the evaporated milk and baby spinach leaves. Add black pepper and parmesan over individual servings if desired.
Serve hot and enjoy!
I have recently got more into cooking with a slow cooker. Slow cooker recipes are perfect for college students and people who work, as they generally require little prep and you can leave it for hours while you work or go to class. This recipe is great, especially for the cooler months and is a perfect way to warm up after class or work. This recipe yields approximately four servings. So, if you want more you can simply adjust the recipe by doubling or tripling the ingredients.
This recipe can also be adjusted to suit the taste of the chef. There is no meat in this recipe, but it would be good with chicken. I would season the chicken and add it with about halfway through the initial cook time. You can also add or take away other vegetables to suit your taste. The seasoning can also be adjusted. For those who want a little more spice, I would recommend adding more cayenne pepper to taste- I would start by doubling it then seeing how you like it and adjust it from there.
This soup pairs well with a crusty bread, such as sourdough or artisan bread, as a side or with a salad.