Tortellini Soup

by Alea on April 12, 2011

Last week I was craving minestrone soup, but many of the vegetables that I use in it are not in season. Buying imported, out of season veggies would have greatly increased the cost of the dish, so I decided to replace them with something that is always in season: tortellini!  :)

I reduced the cost of this soup, by using homemade chicken broth. I also used dry beans that I cooked from scratch. When you use dry beans you save about 75% off the price of canned beans. It is more time consuming that opening a can, but with my pressure cooker method I can batch cook a large amount in less than 1 1/2 hours. I realize that making homemade tortellini would have reduced the cost even further, but I cheated and used frozen cheese tortellini.

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Alea’s Tortellini Soup


1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup carrots, julienned
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 3/4 cups black beans or 1 can of black beans
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
2 – 3 cups  cheese stuffed tortellini
3  cups  fresh spinach


1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery, garlic, and carrots.

2. Sauté veggies in the oil for 5 minutes.

3. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and spices to the pot. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.

4.  Add spinach leaves and tortellini and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until pasta is al dente and spinach is wilted.

Serves 4 – 6.

I served this soup with a large garden salad and Gluten-Free Herbed Bread Sticks.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen Petersen April 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

yum! I love tortellinis!
My kids love this Italian Tortellini Soup…it is so good:


Alea April 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Karen, I was just thinking today that I had never had tortellini in a beef broth and wondered how it would taste. From your link it looks like a delicious combination! Thanks for sharing.


Melissa April 13, 2011 at 6:30 am

That soup looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

I’ve been making minestrone … only recently, but three times already. (I’m working on a blog post about it, but just haven’t pulled it all together yet.) Like you, I use dry beans and homemade broth.


Alea April 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Melissa, Minestrone soup is addictive isn’t it? We are always sad when the leftovers are gone so I have to make another batch. :) I look forward to seeing your take on this comfort food!


B April 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

this soup was AMAZINGLY good, thank you for sharing it! i replaced the beans with about 3/4 lb. of sausage and it added even more flavor! i also boiled the tortellini separately and added it to the soup at the end – in the past, i always run into problems adding uncooked pasta to soup because it soaks up all the liquid and i no longer have soup left! does anyone have this problem? anyway, thank you again, we all loved this at our home!


Alea April 13, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Thank you! Your variation sounds amazing! Good tip on boiling the noodles separately. I haven’t had the problem with tortellini absorbing too much broth, but I have had other types of noodles do that before. thanks again, Alea


Kimberly April 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

This soup looks declicious! I am wondering though if this is a 5.00 meal? A bag of cheese tortellini where I live is 5-6 a bag.


Alea April 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm


Thank you! Yes, I was able to make this for under $5.00. I bought a 19 oz. bag of frozen cheese tortellini for $3.38 ( every day price, sometimes I can buy it on sale for less). I used half a bag which was a little over 2 1/2 cups so the tortellini cost $1.69.


Amanda April 24, 2011 at 1:48 am

Yum! This sounds great and seems easy enough that I could put it together during the week after a long day at work. Thanks for sharing :)


Susan B. October 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Great recipe. I added a little thinly sliced andouille sausage for some spice and salt to taste at the very end. I would definitely make this again. Thanks!!


Alea Milham October 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I am glad you liked. I bet the sausage made a delicious addition!


Mollie November 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I made this tonight and it was YUM! Instead of the various spices, I just did several shakes of a dry Italian seasoning blend. I also wanted to say that I had to add 2 more cups of chicken broth because there wasn’t enough liquid with all the other goodies there. My husband who doesn’t even like tortellini ate it up! Success! :)


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