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Make a Weeknight Meal Special Challenge

One of the best things about the cooler weather this time of the year is that it also means it’s soup season! I love soup. I am a creamy girl at heart but knowing that’s not always the healthiest route it’s good to keep your options open and not discount vegetable based soups. 
Bertolli recently came out with a new line of frozen meals called Meal Soup. They offer four different varieties to choose from.
Chicken Minestrone, Roasted Chicken & Rotini Pasta, Tomato Florentine & Tortellini with Chicken and Tuscan-Style Beef with vegetable. 

Here are a few facts about Bertolli
·      Bertolli® Frozen Meal Soups are hearty and fresh-tasting with vegetables, meats, pasta and herbs individually flash frozen at the  peak of freshness.
·      Bertolli® Frozen Meal Soups are available in the frozen aisle, and can be prepared on your stovetop in minutes.
·      With robust flavors and rich textures, new Bertolli® Frozen Meal Soups are available in four varieties: Chicken Minestrone, Roasted Chicken & Rotini Pasta, Tomato Florentine & Tortellini with Chicken, and Tuscan-Style Beef with Vegetables.
Since this is a fairly new product and I live in a small town I was only able to locate one store out here that carried them, and was shocked to see that out of the shelf provided for the soups only one remained. I took that as a good sign that people are enjoying them. If you are worried that the soups aren’t carried in your area click here and you can search for a local store that carries the soups. The one that was left on the shelf was the Tomato Florentine & Tortellini with Chicken. Quite honestly even if they had all four in stock I probably would have bought the same one because I am a sucker for tomato soup. I also thought that since it had the tortellini in it then the kids would be more willing to try it. 
I was challenged to make a special meal with Bertolli Soups and do so in under an hours time. One thing I love about doing soup for dinner is it goes with pretty much anything you can think of. The other night I made a chicken and pasta dish that fit right into the Italian theme and since I had plenty of leftovers I decided what better to pair the soup with then our left overs. And it saved me a lot of time just reheating the food as opposed to creating the whole meal.

Many people discount leftovers but they are great for many reasons. A lot of times the flavors become more intense because you’ve let everything sit together overnight. You can create a whole new dish with leftovers. And best of all, they save time!

Tips on keeping meal prep time down:
Growing up we always ate meals together as a family and I want that for my family. While not always possible since my husband works and attends school I try to get everyone together as often as I can. Some things that I have found that get the kids more excited is serving them in “grown up” dishes. We have three different sets of dishes. Plastic, Corel (glass but break proof glass) and our fancy set that my husband and I use. By serving the kids the Corel plates/bowls they feel more like big kids and what kid doesn’t love to pretend like they’re older so there is usually less of an issue in getting them all to sit down for dinner which saves me time in chasing them around.
Planning ahead is a BIG time saver when preparing a meal. Making sure you have all ingredients needed so if you find out you are missing one ingredient you wont have to make a mad dash to the store. If it’s something that requires a lot of chopping you can pre chop what you need the night before or in the morning, put them in Tupperware and in the fridge until needed later.

Also choose one day a week for an easy meal. Whether it be soup, salad, sandwiches, pizza, wraps, even spaghetti can be started in the afternoon and simmered on low until you’re ready for dinner. Just go for something that does not take a lot of prep time but is still tasty.

Now onto the good part, our meal. With my leftovers out and being reheated all I had to do was prepare the soup and dinner would be ready. Pay close attention because here’s the difficult part.

1. Put the package in a pot
2. Add one cup of water (per package)
3. Bring to a boil

In five minutes you will end up with an amazing soup that will shock you at it’s deliciousness. 

Being a soup lover my expectations were high. I tried to keep an open mind but as soon as the soup started to boil and the smell spread throughout the house I knew the soup would be good. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. The spinach was perfect, no stems and it was all ripe so it tasted wonderfully. The chicken was tender and full of flavor and I loved that they were tiny little pieces. They were good size chunks and not a single piece of fat was on any of the pieces. The tortellini was amazing. Just the right amount of cheese filling that was nice and creamy. The pasta was slightly al dente which is a good thing because you don’t want soggy pasta which leads to the filling leaking out. And of course the tomato bisque was pure perfection. Nice and creamy without being to heavy. It was full of flavor without being overwhelming. And it paired very well with our leftovers.
All in all this was an amazing soup. That is the first time I have ever said that about a store bought soup. I will admit, I can be very picky when it comes to soups but this one was a home run. Not only from the overall taste of the soup but the cooking time was very fast. Definitely will be keeping this on our favorites list. 

You can connect with Bertolli on Facebook at facebook.com/Bertolli or on Twitter at twitter.com/Bertolli and their Website at villabertolli.com



*I was compensated by Bertolli to participate in the Weeknight Meal Special Challenge. As always all thoughts & opinions stated are my own*

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