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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- Pear Salad with Balsamic and Walnuts
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Citrus Salad with Fennel and Avocado
- Caesar Salad
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Or any of these 19 Best Winter Salad Recipes!
Round out the meal with homemade focaccia or good crusty bread. Enjoy!
More Favorite Soup Recipes
If you love this soup, try one of these delicious recipes next:
- Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup
- Best Lentil Soup
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Wild Rice Soup
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Or any of these 30 Best Soup Recipes!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, diced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 3½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 9 to 12 ounces cheese tortellini,
- 5 cups torn kale
- Dollops of Kale Pesto
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
- 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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This was superb! Yo avoid my husband picking all the diced tomatoes out, I used one 15 oz can diced tomatoes and one 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes. The kale pesto was also delicious. Will definitely make again.
I’m glad you enjoyed the soup!
I cook the tortellini soup for my granddaughters and they love it. I’m here taking care of them and Pippi while their parents are away. And it’s my favorite thing to cook.
I’m so glad everyone loves the soup!
Loved it! Do you have nutrition facts for this recipe?
hi! im thinking of making this for my lactose intolerant bf, but i couldn’t find any vegan cheese tortellini. would sausage tortellini work in its place?
Hi Emily, any tortellini will work great in this recipe.
I added some celery and used fire roasted diced tomatoes for a deeper spice and it was amazing! Didn’t have any Kale Pesto so I didn’t use it and the soup was still PHENOMENAL.
Hi Allie, I’m so glad you loved the soup!
Looking forward to making this soup!! What can the kale pesto be substutied for? Or can it be skipped altogether? 🙂
Hi Keila, you can skip it altogether or use any type of pesto.
Great recipe, made it verbatim… broiled some fresh Italian bread with olive oil and a little salt to go with… soooooo good! Thank you
I’m so glad you loved it!
Such a comforting recipe! I’m a student with a pretty busy schedule and this soup is exactly what I need in cold days: quick, easy and cozy – must try it out
I’m planning to make this for my book club and am wondering if you can make the main part/soup base the day before and then do the kale/tortelllini part the next day, shortly before serving. Or is it best to make this the day before and simply reheat? I worry the tortellini will fall apart! Thanks!
Hi Jocelyn, I think your idea of doing the kale/tortellini part just before serving would be best. The tortellini doesn’t totally fall apart but it gets softer and thickens the soup a bit as it sits. I definitely enjoyed the whole thing as reheated leftovers but I might go your route if I was serving others.
Always looking for vegetarian options for my daughter. Didn’t have fennel so substituted celery and kale had hone off so I added cabbage. Needed to throw in some protein so I added cannellini beans. Soup was a huge hit for vegetarian and non vegetarians.
Hi Lisa, I’m so happy to hear that everyone loved it!
I tried this yesterday. I swapped the fennel with celery because we can’t stand it, but otherwise I sticked to the recipe. It was sooo good and is a keeper for sure. Even my daughter ate the kale without complaining:)
I’m so glad everyone loved it! So glad she loved the kale 🙂
Good hearty soup and quick to make. My additions were some leftover cooked chicken and a can of white beans as I wanted to add a bit of extra protein and the beans are always nice in an Italian type soup. Served with garlic toast and everyone was happy.
I’m so glad it was a hit!
This soup is like crack to me. It literally has a chokehold on me. I just went to the grocery store at 9:30 pm to get the ingredients to make it because that’s how much I was craving it
Ha, I’m so glad you’ve loved it so much!
Excellent! So I have a house full of meat eaters, I sliced up some breakfast sausage links and fried them up first, didn’t have fennel so I used celery instead. I substituted apple cider vinegar for balsamic since I didn’t have any on hand as well…such an easy recipe to make your own…Hubby and super picky 17 year old son said this recipe is a keeper! Yay! I love a new recipe, already copied it to my recipe box! Thanks!
I’m so glad everyone loved it!
Do you think you can store some as leftovers for the next day or so?
Yep! It’ll keep well for a few days in the fridge.
if it gets thick, stir in a little bit of water as you reheat it.
This is the second time making it this month. It is so good!! And it’s even better the next day
I am a big fan of crock pot soups. Would this soup work in a crock pot or no? I usually put the onions and stuff in a skillet first to brown them and then dump everything in.
Hi Katie, yes, that should work just fine!
Can I let the pasta cook with the soup and just add a little more stock or does it HAVE to be cooked separately then added?
Hi, the soup will be thicker because the pasta starches release. It’s possible it would work with more broth.
I am making this today, but I don’t have any fresh bulbs of fennel. Can ground fennel or whole fennel seed substitute well?
Hi Anna, you could skip it altogether, or add a few celery ribs (chopped), or some leeks, or a bit more carrot to account for the vegetable bulk. I wouldn’t say no to a little ground fennel seed, it would be delicious even though it’s not a 1:1 substitute for the fresh vegetable. The recipe is flexible, it should be delicious any of these ways.
Made this today! We loved it. Very flavorful and lots of leftovers for the week.
I’m so glad it was a hit!
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!
I’m so glad you loved it!