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Creamy Tortellini Soup: A Pasta Dinner from Your Slow Cooker

Toss your favorite Italian ingredients in a slow cooker and forget it. The secret to this make-ahead dinner is the just-right combo of fresh and prepped ingredients. Get the details!

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Come home to a make-ahead dinner that's warm and hearty. This creamy tortellini soup recipe makes use of the slow cooker. While you're out for the day, your soup will be simmering away. For this recipe, you'll need a 3-1/2 to 4-quart size slow cooker. Empty the contents of 1 envelope of white sauce mix into the slow cooker. Use a package that's about 1-1/2 to 2 ounces in size. Add 4 cups of water and whisk it until it's fully incorporated. Then, add 1 14-ounce can of vegetable broth, 1-1/2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms, 1/2-cup chopped onion, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of crushed dried basil, a quarter teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of crushed dried oregano, and an eighth teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Stir everything together and cover the slow cooker. Cook the soup for 5 to 6 hours on low or, if you're looking for a quicker time, on high for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Next, we can stir in a 7 to 8-ounce package of dried cheese tortellini which is about 2 cups. Replace the cover and cook the soup for another hour on low or for 45 minutes on high. Just before serving, stir in 1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk and mix in 6 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves or, if you use larger spinach leaves, just tear them into smaller pieces first. Cover and let the spinach wilt slightly and that's it. The slow cooker has done most of the work. And it's time to serve the soup. If you like, sprinkle each serving with a little freshly-ground black pepper and some shredded parmesan cheese.