Maya Salem | Daily Nexus

A comforting and hearty way to end a long day. As the temperature continues to fluctuate throughout the Southern Californian “spring” — between gray mornings and deceivingly cold nights — this soup provides a tried and true body-warming meal. 


  • ¼ pound sliced bacon (reserve drippings)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 9 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese



  1. Fry the bacon, drain and cool. Saute the onion and garlic in leftover bacon drippings until golden brown. Chop the bacon to add later.
  2. Next, add the chicken broth, tomatoes, beef broth, basil, oregano and black pepper. Simmer.
  3. Add the tortellini, kidney beans and chopped bacon. Cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve!

Tortellini is one of my favorite foods — it’s like a classy package of mac and cheese. In this case, it’s delivered in a vessel of soothing tomato soup. Let us know if you try this recipe out by tagging us @onthemenu on Instagram!

Maya Salem is not ashamed to eat these protein-rich leftovers for breakfast when May gray rolls in, and bagels or cereal just aren’t going to cut it.

A version of this article appeared on p. 11 of the May 12, 2022 version of the Daily Nexus