Italian Pasta and Pork Soup

Leader food columnist Kathleen Brotherton says this Italian Pasta and Pork Soup is great paired with a grilled cheese sandwich.

When we think about pork, typically barbecued pork steaks, breaded pork chops, or a big, baked pork roast comes to mind. Seldom do we imagine pork and soup in the same sentence. However, if you try this recipe, which also includes asparagus and pasta, you might be pleasantly surprised.

While asparagus is a springtime vegetable, you can get a frozen package from the store and enjoy this tasty Italian soup year-round. The soup is best cooked in a Dutch oven, and surprisingly, it can be ready to serve in less than 45 minutes.

A steaming bowl of this soup is sure to warm you up on chilly November days. Serve it alongside a grilled cheese sandwich on Texas toast for a delicious meal.

ITALIAN PASTA AND PORK SOUP

1 tablespoon oil

3 boneless pork loin chops (about 3/4 pounds), cut into 3/4-inch cubes

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans ready to serve chicken broth

1 cup water

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini or gnocchi pasta

1 (9-ounce) package frozen asparagus cuts

1/2 cup shredded carrots

Shredded Parmesan and sprigs of parsley (garnish)

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add pork and garlic; cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes or until pork is no longer pink.

Add broth, water, Italian seasoning and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients (except garnish); mix well. Cook uncovered for an additional 7 to 9 minutes or until pasta is tender.

If desired, sprinkle servings with shredded Parmesan cheese and springs of parsley.

Makes 5 (1 1/2 cup) servings.

Brotherton offers website readers one stellar recipe a week in the “My Leader Yummy” feature.

Looking for a recipe you can’t find? Email me at kbrotherton42@gmail.com and I’ll see if I have it.

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