I tend to enjoy making things from scratch. That being said, I often play loose with recipes. For a great tortellini soup, I would expect that cream and sweated onions would add great flavor. But as the soup is to include the pasta, which is wrapped around the filling, I would add other ingredients to enrich the flavor. Things like a bit of nutmeg, black pepper (coarse grind), maybe some freshly grated Paresano Regiano, or Asiago cheese, sliced carrot (for a bit of sweetness), and maybe a touch of either thyme or sage.
All of these flavors are personal preferences. I never use packaged sauce mixes, but see how, if you like them, they could make the process easier. I also thicken "cream" soups sometimes with a Bechemel Sauce, simply because I enjoy the buttery flavor. Sometimes it's just too close to payday, and I'm short on funds, and find it cheaper to use a Bechemel than cream to give the soup its base. I've also thickened soups with chicken or pork Veloute's.
Flavor is different for everyone, and no one way is absolute. Myself, I don't use flavor packets. I prefer to create my own flavor solutions. But I won't tell somebody else not to. If it works for them, that's all one can ask for.
I made a pot of bean soup Saturday night, for a Sunday pot-luck. I melted a quarter cup of butter, and an equal amount of flour, with a bit of salt, and made my roux. I used half soup broth, and half milk to add to the roux to turn it into a thickening sauce. It added a buttery richness to the soup, without making it too milky. But what it really added was a silky smoothness to the soup, so that it wasn't grainy at all. It was really quite good.
The point of my post is this; try everything that is available to you, and determine how YOU like to make a dish. When you perfect your dish, then go out and experiment, or at least try someone else's idea of the same recipe. You may be able to help them improve their version, or you may just agree that you both like the dish the way each of you make it, or maybe you'll like their version, or a part of their version better, and be able to enhance your own skills.
Andy; you are my culinary brother. And your POV is valid, and respected. But it is your POV. You have to remember that you are a pretty accomplished individual with food. The OP states that she is new to cooking. She can certainly learn about using cream in a cream-0f... soup. But unless the OP ruined her meal with what she tried, then her POV is correct also.
Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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