Tuscan Chicken Soup

This is one of our favorite soups.  It makes a big pot and is probably the largest recipe of all the soups I will be making.  The leftovers got better every time, so delish.  The tortellini really makes it a full bodied soup.

Tuscan Chicken Soup

1 - 4 lb. whole chicken
6 cups water
3 leeks (chopped, just the white part)
5 celery stalks (chopped)
5 large carrots, (peeled and sliced)
large handful of chopped fresh parsley
clove of garlic (chopped) OR a sprinkle of garlic powder on the chicken.
1 can stewed tomatoes, (I use my kitchen shears to cut tomatoes up in the can)
5 teaspoons chicken bouillon in granular form, I use Wyler's OR 6 cubes Wyler's chicken bouillon
1 - 9 oz. package cheese tortellini, I use Buitoni three cheese.
big handful spinach (chopped)

Take whole chicken and cut off the skin on the breast side and then turn over and cut the skin off back side.  I use my kitchen shears for this.  You can leave it on the legs and wings.  You don't want so much fat, but need a little for flavor.  Rinse off the bird.

Put the whole chicken in a large pot, breast side down and add the water, leeks, celery, carrots, parsley and garlic.  Bring to a boil and then keep at a high simmer for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Take the chicken out and set aside until it is cool enough to handle.  When cool enough to handle take the chicken off the bone and shred or cut into bite size pieces and add back into the stock.

Add the bouillon, spinach (remember that the spinach will cook way down so add as much as you like), stewed tomatoes and tortellini and keep on low boil for ten minutes until the tortellini is cooked.