It's broth-based. Initially, I thought there was no way in hell I could feed a husband and a growing toddler airy, brothy soup for tea. But I could and did and they loved it! It's actually quite filling. But if you're not convinced, I'd just serve it lunch or with a fresh salad and a chunk of good Italian bread.
I've got to say, for so few ingredients and such quick cooking time, there's a lot going on here in terms of flavor. You get the sharpness from the lemon, the salty and nutty kick from the parmigiano reggiano cheese and the meatiness of the chicken broth, plus that iron-rich bite from the spinach. It just works.
For the broth
1 pack cheese tortellini
1 large unwaxed lemon
1 block parmigiano reggiano cheese with rind
1 1/2 cups water
2 chicken stock cubes + 3 1/2 cups water or 3 1/2 cups ready made chicken stock
a handful of frozen spinach leaves, defrosted with excess waterdrained
salt and lemon pepper
All right, let's cook:
Thinly slice the cheese, keeping the rind.
Place the water, stock and rind into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
Remove the rind from the stock now or risk having to hunt for it later.
Add the tortellini and cook according to instructions on the package, but should be about 5 minutes.
Add the spinach leaves, a little salt and the lemon pepper and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges and additional cheese slices.