This easy vegetarian tortellini soup is loaded with veggies and cheesy tortellini. It's ready in just over 30 minutes and is perfect for chilly nights.
Tortellini soup has always been one of my top 5 favorite soups. It's a regular for our Christmas Eve dinners (alongside white bean dip and chili cheese dip) but it's easy enough to make all year long.
This is a vegetarian soup that will actually fill you up and leave you satisfied.
Think of this soup as a rich, tomato-y vegetarian minestrone soup with tortellini and a whole lot of flavor. It's perfect with a big wedge of crusty bread and a hearty sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
- Dietary features: vegetarian, vegan-optional, soy-free, nut-free
- Packed with hearty veggies and cheesy tortellini
- Made with a rich tomato-based sauce
- Quick enough for weeknight meals
Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. Most of these ingredients are pantry staples.
- Tortellini: I use dried tortellini for convenience but any kind will work (see tips below). I usually go for three cheese (like this Barilla tortellini).
- Red wine adds warmth and depth. Choose a cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir. Use a wine that you enjoy the taste of, not an old bottle that's been open for a week!
- Mirepoix consists of diced celery, onion and carrots. We're adding green pepper for additional depth and flavor.
- Dry basil and oregano: Feel free to use fresh if you have it on hand. One teaspoon dry is roughly equivalent to one tablespoon fresh chopped basil or oregano.
- Spinach for a pop of green and plant-based iron. Kale is also a good option.
- Vegetable broth makes up the base of the soup. I usually opt for reduced sodium and adjust saltiness of the soup to taste.
- Tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes make the rich base.
Step by step instructions
Most of the time for this recipe is spent prepping veggies. This step can be done 24 hours in advance. Start by chopping onions, green pepper, carrots, celery, and zucchini.
Sauté the onions, carrots, green peppers and celery in olive oil until the onions are translucent.
Add the zucchini, garlic, basil and oregano. Sauté a minute more. We don't saute the zucchini with the other ingredients because it softens very quickly while cooking.
Pour in the vegetable broth, wine, tomato sauce and tomatoes.
Bring the soup to a boil, then add the uncooked tortellini and fresh parsley.
Reduce to a simmer. Cook the soup until the tortellini is tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in fresh parsley and spinach. It will wilt very quickly. Serve garnished with additional parsley, fresh parmesan and red pepper flakes.
- Equipment: Use a 6 quart or larger Dutch oven or stock pot.
- Tortellini cook time: Dry tortellini takes longer to cook than frozen or fresh. Dry tortellini takes 10-12 minutes to cook whereas fresh will take only 2-3 minutes. You can use any kind of tortellini, just cook until it is tender.
- Make it in advance: This is the kind of soup that tastes even better after letting the flavors develop overnight, so don't be afraid to make it 24 hours in advance. You may need to add an extra splash of vegetable broth as the tortellini will soak up a lot of liquid while refrigerated.
- Extra protein: Vegetarian tortellini soup is great with white beans or chickpeas added in. You can also sauté your preferred type of sausage (vegetarian or otherwise) while sautéing the veggies. I grew up eating tortellini soup with Italian-seasoned sausage.
Tortellini soup FAQ
Yes, tortellini soup can be made without wine but it will have less depth. The alcohol content of the wine is mostly cooked out during the simmering process, much like with beer in chili. Replace wine with an equal amount of vegetable broth.
For best quality, keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or stove-top over medium low. Reheat an entire container in a stock pot over medium-low, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
Yes, you can make it vegan by replacing the tortellini with a vegan tortellini, such as Kite Hill brand.
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Vegetarian Tortellini Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- ½ teaspoon salt more to taste
- 3 cloves garlic mined
- 1 medium zucchini sliced into half moons
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ cup red wine see note #1
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes with juices
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 12 ounces cheese tortellini see note #2
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 2 cups spinach
- red pepper flakes for topping
- Parmesan for topping
- Heat a 6 quart Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Add the onions, bell pepper, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle with salt. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, zucchini, basil and oregano. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the red wine, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and water. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat.
- Once boiling, add the tortellini and parsley. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the tortellini is tender, about 10 minutes (time will vary based on type of tortellini being used).
- When the tortellini is tender, stir in the fresh spinach. Enjoy served with freshly grated parmesan and additional fresh parsley. This soup tastes even better the next day!
- Wine: I usually use cabernet or pinot noir. Choose a wine you would enjoy drinking, not the wine that's been open for a few days and just needs to be used up.
- Tortellini: I use dry cheese tortellini (the kind that can be stored in the pantry) but fresh or frozen tortellini also works. If using fresh, cook until the tortellini is tender.
- Leftovers and reheating: Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or on the stove-top over medium-low. You can reheat the entire soup pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Add extra vegetable broth as needed to thin.
This recipe was originally shared January 2019. It was updated September 2021 with new photos, a video and more tips. The recipe remains the same with minor changes for consistency.