Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
Recipe from my sweet friend Colette Braithwaite

4 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian Stewed Tomatoes
4 T flour
4 T butter, melted
2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
2 C half and half
1 C chicken broth
12-24 ounces tortellini (I used fresh)

1. Grab 4 cans of stewed tomatoes. I used Italian Style mostly because I love the added flavor, however the original recipe calls for plain. Pour the tomatoes into your blender.
2. Add 4 tablespoons flour, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 2 teaspoons salt and a dash or two of pepper.
3. Blend it all together until very smooth. Should take a couple of minutes.
4. Pour the tomato mixture into a large soup pot. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, while stirring. Reduce the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5. Grab some tortellini. I used this fresh variety (from Costco) that comes in a 48 ounce two pack. I opted to add one package (24 ounces) which ended up being a bit more tortellini than some of my family members enjoy. I loved it with all of the tortellini (cheese and pasta are my thing, after all), but thought I would mention the small grumblings that occurred here.  Add however much you think your family will like.  Somewhere between 12 and 24 ounces should be perfect. Boil some water and add a generous amount of salt to the pot. Toss in your tortellini and let it cook just enough so the noodles are easy to bite through. This shouldn't take long. Just a few minutes. Drain the pasta into a colander and pour cold water over the top. This helps stop the cooking process and keeps the tortellini from soaking up excess amounts of the soup. 
6. Add 2 cups half and half and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to your soup pot. Give it a nice stir to combine. It will froth up on you a bit, don't be worried. Allow the soup to cook and thicken, stirring occasionally.  Should take about 8-10 minutes.
7. Add 1 cup warm chicken broth, stirring the soup to combine.
8. Add the tortellini just before serving and enjoy!

If the soup gets too thick add a bit more chicken broth.