Creamy Tortellini Soup

published Sep 16, 2023
Creamy Tortellini Soup Recipe

Perfect for chilly weather, this vegetarian soup has a creamy tomato-based broth loaded with tender tortellini and spinach.

Serves4 to 6

Makesabout 2 quarts

Prep10 minutes

Cook40 minutes

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Creamy tortellini soup in bowl.
Credit: Kelli Foster

If tomato soup is your go-to comfort food, you’re going to love this creamy tortellini soup. It starts with a rich, velvety broth inspired by creamy tomato soup, and is packed with cheesy tortellini and a generous helping of spinach. A splash of balsamic vinegar — an unexpected ingredient that’s added to the soup once it’s finished cooking — adds a pop of acidity that both enhances the flavor of the tomatoes and keeps the soup from feeling heavy. 

The best part: It’s a true weeknight soup. There’s minimal prep, mostly hands-off cooking, and since the tortellini cooks directly in the soup, you only need one pot.

What Is Creamy Tortellini Soup?

Creamy tortellini soup is a brothy tomato-based soup flavored with vegetables, Italian seasoning, and a splash of tangy balsamic vinegar. It’s loaded with tender cheese tortellini and a few handfuls of baby spinach. A combination of flour, Parmesan cheese, and heavy cream lends the soup its creaminess. There’s no meat in this version, and you can keep it vegetarian by using vegetable broth (chicken broth also works well, if you prefer to use that).

How To Make Creamy Tortellini Soup

  • Sauté vegetables. Cook the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and seasonings in olive oil until softened.
  • Add flour. Stir in all-purpose flour to coat the vegetables and cook for a couple minutes. This makes for a thicker, creamy broth.
  • Add liquids and simmer. Add the broth and fire-roasted crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, allowing the flavors to meld. 
  • Cook tortellini. Add one package of refrigerated tortellini to the pot and cook for one minute less than the package instructions.
  • Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Stir in Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and baby spinach. Once the spinach is wilted, stir in a couple teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.
Credit: Kelli Foster

Best Type of Tortellini to Use for Creamy Tortellini Soup

I recommend using refrigerated tortellini for this soup. It tends to be slightly larger than frozen and cooks in just a few minutes directly in the pot of soup. This recipe calls for cheese tortellini, but if there’s another variety you love or already have on hand, toss it in; it’ll work just fine. 

This isn’t to say that frozen tortellini won’t work — it does. If you prefer to use frozen tortellini, which is a little smaller in size and often comes in a larger package, I recommend increasing the quantity to about 12 ounces (or about 3 cups). 

Creamy Tortellini Soup Recipe

Perfect for chilly weather, this vegetarian soup has a creamy tomato-based broth loaded with tender tortellini and spinach.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Makes about 2 quarts

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 1

    medium carrot

  • 1

    medium celery stalk

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    dried Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (about 4 cups)

  • 1 (28-ounce) can

    fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup finely grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated)

  • 1 (8- to 9-ounce) package

    refrigerated cheese tortellini

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream

  • 5 ounces

    baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)

  • 2 teaspoons

    balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same bowl as you complete it: Dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups). Peel and dice 1 medium carrot (about 1/2 cup). Dice 1 medium stalk celery (about 1/3 cup). Mince 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the vegetables, 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and stir to coat the vegetables until no dry streaks remain. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Add 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth and 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Meanwhile, finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup lightly packed) if needed, or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought.

  4. Add 1 (8- to 9-ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 5 ounces baby spinach, and stir to combine. Let sit until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Add 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Serve topped with more Parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe Notes

Substitution: You can substitute refrigerated tortellini with 12 ounces (about 3 cups) frozen cheese tortellini.

Storage: The soup is best immediately after cooking, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.