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Mediterranean Soup with Chicken and Tortellini

This stock can be made several weeks in advance and frozen. To use, thaw, and bring just to a boil; proceed to step 3.

  • servings: 12


For the Soup

  • Salt
  • 1/3 pound fresh meat-filled tortellini
  • 1 bunch fresh chives

For the Stock

  • 3 pounds chicken, backs, necks, and wings
  • 5 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 10 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 6 canned plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Peel from 1 orange
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch lengths


  1. Step 1

    Remove and discard the excess fat from the chicken parts, and rinse the chicken; transfer to a large stockpot. Add all remaining stock ingredients and 4 quarts of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Skim stock of foam that rises as necessary.

  2. Step 2

    Reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered 2 hours; continue to skim as necessary. Pass through a fine sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large bowl. Discard solids. Skim the fat; season with salt.

  3. Step 3

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini; cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain. Place a few tortellini in each soup bowl and top with the hot stock. Garnish with the chives, and serve hot.

Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1997/1998