A delicious Hearty Tortellini Soup, a simple soup made with a vegetable broth and spinach. Hearty and comforting. Perfect for lunch or dinner.
Tortellini in a Broth is a very popular first course in Italy, especially in winter time. But they are also an Italian tradition usually served in a capon broth on Christmas Day or on Boxing Day.
I have also discovered that Italians like to add a little more to the broth besides the Tortellini to make it a heartier soup.
- Olive Oil
- Shallot – or small onion
- Broth – homemade or store bought
- Pelati Tomatoes
- Salt – if store bought be careful with adding salt
- Black Pepper – or hot pepper flakes if you prefer
- Tortellini – either meat or cheese tortellini
- Raw Spinach leaves – regular fresh or fresh baby spinach
What are Pelati Tomatoes?
Pelati tomatoes are skinned plum (san marzano) tomatoes that are canned in their own juice with no additives such as salt, garlic basil etc. You can also use canned chopped tomatoes or even passata as long as there is nothing added to the tomatoes.
What are tortellini filled with?
How to make homemade broth
For this recipe Italians like to use a meat based broth either beef or chicken, if you prefer you can make a vegetable broth. Of course if you prefer you can use store bought.
In a large pot add a few pieces of meat (bone in is also a good idea), a carrot and an onion peeled and cut in half, a celery stalk cut in two, a bay leaf, 2-3 pepper corns, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt and 12 cups of water.
Bring it to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about three hours. Stir occasionally and remove any foam that appears on the top of the broth. Pour the broth through a sieve, and let the liquid cool before using.
Any unused broth can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. It can also be frozen in freezer safe containers and will keep for up to 6 months.
How to make it
In a large pot add the oil, minced garlic and chopped shallot, cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Then add the broth, tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil (break up the tomatoes with a fork), stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add the tortellini, cook as indicated on the package, one minute before they are cooked, add the chopped spinach and stir gently to combine.
Taste for salt (add if necessary). Serve immediately, top with flaked or grated Parmesan cheese.
A Substitute for Spinach
If you don’t like spinach then a good substitute would be swiss chard or even beet greens or kale. Although these may have to be cooked a little longer.
This is a simple and quick recipe that can be served for either lunch or dinner.
How to Store Leftovers
Left over Cooked soup should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, do not let it sit at room temperature for more than two hours. The soup will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
You could also freeze the cooked Tortellini Soup in an airtight container. The soup will last up to 4-6 months in the freezer, it will last longer but the taste will not be as good. Thaw the frozen Tortellini Soup in the fridge over night. Thawed soup will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Tips for making the best Tortellini Soup
- Be sure to cook the Tortellini at the end, or they will be a soggy soft mess.
- Be sure to use fresh produce when possible.
- Stir the soup while the tortellini are cooking.
How is Tortellini traditionally served?
Italians like to eat Tortellini in a simple tomato or meat sauce. I also love it served in a cream or cheese sauce. It is considered a primo piatto in Italy and not served as a side dish.
What to Serve with Tortellini Soup
This delicious hearty soup can be served for lunch or dinner, I like to serve it with a simple side salad with some Savory Parmesan Cookies or my Easy Focaccia Bread this Fast and Easy No Knead Bread.
Since the holidays are now over and we are trying to get back on track with simple meals that will keep us warm, because yes it is quite cool here in Italy too!
I think a Hearty Comforting Soup like this Tortellini Soup would be a good choice. Buon Appetito!
More Delicious Soups & Stews
- Italian Chickpea Soup
- Easy Italian Lentils and Sausage Stew
- Pasta and Fagioli
- Easy Homemade Italian Fish Soup
- Chunky Thick Italian Beef Stew
Hearty Tortellini Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 shallot (chopped)
- 4 cups vegetable or meat broth (homemade or store bought)
- 1 can pelati tomatoes (skinned) (14 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 dashes pepper or hot pepper flakes
- 10 ounces tortellini (meat)
- 6 1/2 cups raw spinach leaves (chopped)*
*If you don’t like spinach then you can substitute with swiss chard or beet greens, although these might take a little longer to cook.
- In a large pot add the oil, minced garlic and chopped shallot, cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Then add the broth, tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil (break up the tomatoes with a fork), stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add the tortellini, cook as indicated on the package, one minute before they are cooked, add the chopped spinach and stir gently to combine. Taste for salt (add if necessary). Serve immediately, top with flaked or grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Updated from December 6, 2019.
How much is one can of tomatoes??? It doesn’t specify!
Hi Christie, sorry about that, it should be 14 ounces or 400 grams. I hope you like it. Take care!
I made this soup today (may not be ideal for summer) but I believe soups are necessary for any season. My only issue was that it was too bland. I know it says to add salt, but I didn’t want it to be too salty.
I used the Cento brand of skinned San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, sea salt and bagged spinach.
I also used chicken broth (not the reduced sodium kind) and ended up having to use chicken tortellini instead of the Italian sausage or prosciutto.
I would love for this dish to be a staple in my cuisine. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and love for cooking with us!
**also, I took a picture of my finished product. I wish I could share it with you.
Hi Amber, well usually when something is too bland it’s because it does need more salt, although you could also add some dried oregano and dried basil if you want, or even hot pepper flakes or black pepper. Thanks so much, glad you like the recipes. If you have instagram you can share your photo, just use the #anitalianinmykitchen. Have a great week.
In response to your comments about the soup being bland… whenever I make a broth based soup, I add a teaspoon or two of bouillion as it enhances the flavor. Just a thought.
Terri Oliver Steffes says
I love this delicious idea for a meal. Can’t wait to try it.
Thanks Terri, I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
Lsuren | Mom Home Guide says
This looks like a perfect soup for a cold winter day. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Lauren, thanks so much, it is hearty! 🙂
Nikki from Tikkido says
YUM! I love the addition of the fresh spinach to this soup. It looks hearty and fresh and delicious in every way!
Hi Nikki, thanks so much hope you enjoy it.