Quick Tomato Tortellini Soup

We all have those days when we’re out of energy, ideas or time when it comes to dinner. For years this soup has been my go to on those occasions.  In fact, this recipe came to my rescue just last night! It’s 15 minutes from pantry to table, and is a delicious, healthy, one-pot meal. 

No shopping is required if you keep some version of these things on hand; fresh spinach or other greens, canned tomatoes, dairy case tortellini and chicken broth.  The flavors come together quickly in the pot. Add a loaf of crusty bread and you’ll be sitting down to dinner before you know it.

This soup cries out for improvisation. I hardly ever make it the same way twice. The constants are the diced tomatoes, greens and broth. Small ravioli can replace the tortellini. A parmesan rind adds amazing flavor. Use beef stock or try fire-roasted diced tomatoes or tomatoes with basil or italian herbs. Add cooked sausage or cooked diced chicken along with leftover cooked rice or farro instead of the tortellini. You get the idea.

Tonight we added some organic chicken sausage from the freezer (threw them in whole since they were frozen), a piece of parmesan rind and a drizzle of olive for each serving. Paul said it tasted like Italy in a bowl. High praise for 10 minutes of prep!

I’d love to hear what your improvisations on this soup are.


tort soupphotoTomato Tortellini Soup (serves 4 hungry people)


4 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock 

2 – 14.5 ounce cans of organic diced tomatoes with juice (added flavors in the tomatoes are fine)

cloves of garlic chopped or 1/4 tsp powder

Salt and Pepper to taste

5-10 ounces fresh spinach, baby kale or chard (salad mixes are perfect)

1 package Buitoni whole wheat cheese tortellini (about 2 1/2 cups) 

Olive oil to drizzle

Optional and excellent:  Parmesan rind, a couple of sliced organic cooked chicken sausages, a cup of chopped cooked chicken, olive oil and grated parmesan for garnish.


  1. Bring chicken broth, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper, and parmesan rind if using, to a boil in a dutch oven or soup pot.
  2. Add greens and tortellini and simmer for about 10 minutes.  
  3. Test tortellini for doneness, correct seasoning to taste and ladle into bowls.
  4. Drizzle each serving with olive oil.


  • Almost any greens will work. I’ve used lettuces, frozen spinach and canned turnip greens but lean toward fresh spinach and/or baby kale.  If your kale is mature, cut into small ribbons and add a couple of minutes before the tortellini.
  • Good olive oil makes a real difference here. I keep a special bottle for finishing soups and sauces.
  • Parmesan rinds are like hidden treasure. Buy real Parmigiano Reggiano and freeze the rinds to use in soups and sauces.
  • Most grocery stores carry tortellini and ravioli in the dairy case. I keep a package or two in the freezer.  It’s fine to add it directly to the soup frozen.

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