Spinach Tortellini Soup: An Easy Tortellini Soup Recipe
Depending on the brand of tortellini you buy, cooking time can vary from 3 to 12 minutes. For longer cooking varieties (or if you think you'll have soup left over) cook tortellini separately and add to individual bowls just before serving.
The origin of this spinach tortellini soup recipe
Over the weekend our big girl wasn't feeling so well, and she asked me to make some soup. There's no way to really feel good when your kids don't, but simmering a big pot of comforting and nourishing tortellini soup by special request may be about the closest you can get.
She'd initially asked for our bare-bones basic orzo in broth, which only comes out when someone's really under the weather. But I amortized my law degree with some light negotiation and upgraded us to spinach tortellini soup. This pot of goodness packs more nutrients and also doubled as a way to feed the whole family dinner that night without cooking twice. The 12 year old is smart, has good taste, and even as a tween is pretty good at picking her battles, so she was happy to oblige. Tortellini soup for all.
The goal was to pack lots of flavor and nourishment into a bowl that still came across as very simple. I'd say we succeeded without question. (Why am I unafraid to sing the praises of my food despite 40 years of consistent self-deprecating tendencies that I have to hope are charming? Oh, never mind, I'm 40 and don't care.)
Moving right along.
Choosing a Broth for Spinach Tortellini Soup
You can use chicken broth if you're into that sort of thing, or try my favorite vegetable broth by a mile, but this is not the place for shitty, rust-colored veggie broth. With so few ingredients, each needs to pull its weight.
Don't we all?
Tortellini Soup Tip
This tortellini soup recipe is easy breezy, and nothing should convince you otherwise. But here's a protip that can help you get the best results. Tortellini cooking times vary dramatically, from about three minutes to about 12. That's CRAZY but true.
For longer cooking varieties (or if you think you'll have soup left over) cook tortellini separately and add to individual bowls just before serving.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
- 2 large carrots, diced small
- 2 large celery stalks, diced small
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 8 cups good low-sodium vegetable stock
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 9 ounces tortellini
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grated parmesan or pecorino, for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and salt and stir to coat with oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. If you happen to get distracted and the veggies brown a little bit, it'll add some nice depth of flavor.
- Stir in stock, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer until veggies are tender. Remove lid and add spinach and tortellini. Cook according to tortellini package instructions (usually just simmering for a couple of minutes). Off the heat, stir in parsley and black pepper to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with cheese to pass at the table.