Lemony Tortellini Spinach Soup

updated Nov 8, 2019
Lemony Tortellini Spinach Soup Recipe
With a 30-minute cook time and the majority of the ingredients already hanging out in your fridge, a fast and fresh dinner never looked better.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Packed with carrots, spinach, and cheese-filled frozen tortellini, this soup has the satisfying heartiness you crave on those lingering chilly nights, but it also greets you with all the brightness of spring, thanks to a big squeeze of lemon. A soup with all these merits isn’t a mirage, and it doesn’t require a place on the back burner to simmer all day. Nope, this is a soup for those who like their comfort food fast. With a 30-minute cook time and the majority of the ingredients already hanging out in your fridge, a fast and fresh dinner never looked better.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Use a Freezer Staple to Make It a Meal

Some soups are meant to simmer on the stovetop for hours, while others (like this one) rely on freezer staples and require no more than 30 minutes of your time from start to finish.

Frozen tortellini is the MVP of this dinner. It cooks quickly right in the soup, soaking up the brightness of the lemon and richness of the broth.

Fresh vs. Frozen

Frozen tortellini is my go-to because I know I can always count on having a bag in the freezer, plus it tends to be a little cheaper. Fresh tortellini will also certainly work in this recipe — you’ll just need to reduce the cook time by a few minutes.

Embrace the “Meanwhile”

My go-to tactic for making dinner prep as efficient and speedy as possible is to embrace the “meanwhile.” This means that instead of prepping all the ingredients at the onset (as we’re often told to do), you should work as you go. Prep the veggies you’ll need to get the soup started, and then as they cook you can use that time to juice and zest the lemon and gather the remaining ingredients.

Lemony Tortellini Spinach Soup Recipe

With a 30-minute cook time and the majority of the ingredients already hanging out in your fridge, a fast and fresh dinner never looked better.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 2 medium stalks

    celery

  • 2

    medium carrots

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 (48-ounce) carton

    low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (6 cups)

  • 1 (12 to 14-ounce) package

    frozen or fresh cheese tortellini

  • 1 (5-ounce) bag

    baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups). Cut 2 medium celery stalks crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Peel and cut 2 medium carrots crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Mince 2 garlic cloves.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion mixture, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest 1 medium lemon. Juice the lemon.

  3. Add the lemon zest to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 (48-ounce) container low-sodium chicken and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add 1 (12 or 14-ounce) container fresh or frozen tortellini. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook according to package directions until the tortellini is cooked through, 3 to 6 minutes.

  4. Add 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Taste and season with more lemon juice and kosher salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave.