Tortellini Soup

On a cold night, this tortellini soup recipe will be your best friend! Packed with fresh veggies and pasta, it's warming, flavorful, and easy to make.

Tortellini soup

This tortellini soup recipe has always been one of my favorites, but I gained a new appreciation for it this week. Over the last few days, a big, blustery snowstorm has turned Chicago into a winter wonderland. When Jack and I come inside from a chilly walk or shoveling snow, a hot bowl of tortellini soup is the perfect way to warm up.

If you’re also craving cozy, nourishing meals right now, you’ll love this tortellini soup recipe. It cooks up in just over 30 minutes, so it’s easy to make on a weeknight, and it’s packed with flavorful veggies and herbs. The chewy, cheesy tortellini makes it filling and fun to eat, and a vibrant kale pesto takes the whole thing over the top. On a cold night, it’s guaranteed to hit the spot.

Pasta, tomatoes, olive oil, and vegetables

Tortellini Soup Recipe Ingredients

Ready to make this tortellini soup recipe? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tortellini, of course! Look for fresh tortellini in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, or use your favorite frozen tortellini. To make this recipe vegan, use vegan cheese tortellini. I like the Kite Hill Brand.
  • Onion, garlic, carrots, and fennel – They add savory depth of flavor.
  • Fresh thyme – It makes this tortellini soup taste fresh and aromatic.
  • Diced tomatoes and their juices – Along with vegetable stock, they create the brothy base of the soup. I love their sweet and tangy flavor with the cheesy tortellini.
  • Balsamic vinegar – It gives the soup a delicious tangy kick.
  • Red pepper flakes – For a little heat.
  • Kale – For extra veggie power! I add kale leaves to the soup and dollop a vibrant kale pesto on top.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Pot of tortellini soup

This tortellini soup recipe is super easy to make! First, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and sauté the onion, carrots, and fennel until they soften. Stir in the garlic, vinegar, tomatoes, broth, thyme, and red pepper flakes, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, cook and drain the tortellini. Add it to the soup along with the kale leaves, and simmer for 2 minutes more. Before you eat, season to taste. That’s it!

Vegetarian tortellini soup recipe

Tortellini Soup Serving Suggestions

When you’re ready to eat, ladle the tortellini soup into bowls. Garnish it with fresh basil or parsley and a generous scoop of kale pesto. (Tip: keep the kale pesto handy. If you’re anything like me, you’ll add more to your bowl as you eat!)

I often serve this tortellini soup on its own, but it’s also lovely with a salad on the side. Pair it with mixed greens tossed in Italian dressing or lemon vinaigrette or with one of these salad recipes:

Round out the meal with homemade focaccia or good crusty bread. Enjoy!

Tortellini soup recipe

More Favorite Soup Recipes

If you love this soup, try one of these delicious recipes next:

Tortellini Soup

rate this recipe:
5 from 65 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Serves 4
This vegetarian tortellini soup is healthy, comforting, and easy to make! For a vegan variation, substitute your favorite vegan tortellini. I like the Kite Hill brand.



  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, fennel, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar, garlic, tomatoes, broth, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the tortellini in a pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions until al dente. Add the tortellini and the kale to the soup and simmer for 2 more minutes.
  • Season to taste with about ¼ to ½ teaspoon more salt and a few generous grinds of pepper.
  • Serve in bowls with scoops of the kale pesto and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sara

    Hi! Making now. Could I substitute the diced tomatoes for crushed? Thank you so much, as always! Love your recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sara – yes, absolutely, canned crushed tomatoes will be great – the same amount.

  2. Colleen

    5 stars
    This soup is so delicious, especially the next day when the flavors meld. I didn’t have fresh fennel so I ground 1 t. fennel seeds and added it to the soup. Turned out great.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

      • Vicky Poulsen

        5 stars
        I made this a few days ago. I’ve made this soup before but never like this.. I think the balsamic vinegar made the difference. It brought all the other ingredients to life!

  3. Tracey

    This soup sounds delish! Wondering if I drain the tomatoes or add the juice too. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Tracey, you add the juices too. I hope you enjoy!

  4. Margarita

    5 stars
    Is it weird to say that there are only a few people that I trust and that Jeanine is one of them even though I have never seen her in my life? I trust her with my money, my family, friends, and reputation! I made this soup and, even though the liquid evaporated and came out more like pasta, it tasted great, made for a beautiful dinner, and it was very fun to make! Thanks for being there for us 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Aww, ha ha, you’re so sweet :). I’m so glad you loved the soup! Try adding a little more broth next time to make it more brothy, the pasta can really thicken things up.

  5. Rebecca

    5 stars
    I love this soup!

    Using fennel (rather than the usual celery) adds an unexpected flavor to the soup base that is delicious.

    The pièce de résistance is the pesto on top. Don’t skip this part! It melted into the soup and made each bite herbaceous. I used Trader Joe’s Vegan Cashew Pesto and it was absolutely delicious.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  6. Erica

    5 stars
    Okay, this soup is amazing!! I omitted fennel bc I didn’t have, but added a small amount of cauliflower. Also added about 1.5qts of vegetable broth, 3c seemed waaaaay too little. Also added juice from half of a lemon. Will absolutely make again.

    • Erica

      Also added 1 bay lease. Just bc.

  7. Leslie

    5 stars
    Dear Jeanine & Jack,
    This soup was such a fabulous way to use things in the fridge. But I had no fennel! Instead I used a couple of leeks that ‘needed’ using (eliminated the onion), and ground up about a TBSP of fennel seeds for that yummy fennel flavor.

    My question, now that the tortellini is in the soup…how well will it freeze…or should I invite friends for supper tomorrow? There are just the two of us, and there is plenty leftover.

    Love your recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Leslie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it with the leeks! You can freeze it 🙂

  8. megan w

    This soup was super delicious and very easy to make! I left out the fennel because I’m not a big fan, but the rest of it plus the dollop of vegan kale pesto from Trader Joe’s is just a delicious addition 🙂

  9. Christine

    5 stars
    Have made this a couple of times now. It is delicious! The kale pesto is not necessary, but definitely a nice touch.

  10. Maggie

    Hi Jeanine, this looks delicious! Do you think cooking the tortellini in the soup (not separately) could work? After adjusting the liquid volume? Or is this a bad idea?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Maggie, I think it might work but starches will release from the pasta and make it thicker, which is why I prefer to cook pasta separately.

      • Maggie

        5 stars
        Thanks! I just made it — I followed your instructions as it was the first time and didn’t want to mess it up. It was delicious! Will definitely make again 🙂

  11. Bill

    5 stars
    Splendid soup. Will make often. Thank you.

  12. Christine

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Really easy to make, and the flavor was excellent. My husband psi really enjoyed it.

  13. Frances O.

    5 stars
    Your recipes are incredible! For years, my family has enjoyed your grilled peach with mint pesto salad. Recently I re-discovered your site and am thrilled that I did! This week alone, I made 3 of your recipes for the first time, and then made your Caesar twice more (on request). I’m a pescatarian with young kids and finding new, healthy, family-friendly recipes can be a challenge. Thank you for creating delicious, healthy recipes!

  14. Catherine M

    5 stars
    Super tasty and super easy, like the addition of fennel. Warming me up on a cold day!

  15. Becky

    5 stars
    This soup is amazing! This was my first time using fennel and it really adds to the flavor. I also used my “special” balsamic that my son brought me from Italy. I’ll be making this again for sure.

  16. April

    I’m planning to make this soup to start off next week. I’m new to using fennel. Do I use the entire thing? Just the top? Just the bottom? Thanks for your help!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi April, just the bottom bulb part that’s white in color. The green stalks are more tough, you can discard them or save them for vegetable stock. I hope you enjoy the soup!

  17. Katherine

    Hi, I am currently making this now but then I realized it doesn’t say how much water to add with the veg broth and canned tomatoes. I just added a half of a can of water!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Katherine, no water, just the broth and tomatoes.

      • Katherine Schlesier

        Oh okay. The second step says water but no problem! Next time I wont add!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          oh sorry! That’s a typo, it should say broth.

  18. LMH

    This soup is perfectly balanced in flavors and textures. I love the fennel in particular.
    I do think 5 cups of Kale is too much as it almost over powers once added. I ended up having to add double the veg broth to really get a soup once the kale and tortellini were added…was it just me?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      We feel like the kale really wilts down into a hearty soup but the consistency could just be our preference. I’m so glad you enjoyed the flavors, especially the fennel, it’s one of my favorite vegetables.

  19. Maureen

    I made this today, it’s delicious! This is my second time using one of your recipes, the first being the many-veggie soup, I’ll be checking out more, definitely! My only wish is that you’d add nutritional info & serving size (please?)
    Thanks for being here.

  20. Gerri Morris

    5 stars
    I haven’t tried one of your recipes yet that I didn’t love. I’m trying to keep an eye on calories these days. Can I find nutrition facts on your website for your recipes?

    Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Gerri, I’m so glad you’ve been loving them! I’m sorry, we don’t calculate nutrition info.

    • Maureen

      5 stars
      Funny, I just basically said the same thing! There’s a website that can calculate recipes, I’m going to input it there next time on my pc

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.