Monday, January 26, 2015

Tortellini Vegetable Soup (10 Days of Family-Friendly Soups)

This series: I've made a lot of soup in the past few years.  I've come to know what my family will eat and what they won't.  Why don't you put my experience to work for you?!  Hope you find something tasty!  (I think you will!)

10 Days of Family Friendly Soups :: Day 1

This is a soup that I adapted from a recipe I originally found via Family Fun Magazine, but I'm unable to find the original link.  I tried.  Sorry.  I've made enough changes to it to not feel too bad...  It was my idea to "health" it up by adding the spinach and garbanzo beans. I don't know why anyone would eat this soup without those ingredients in the first place... Family Fun kind of missed the boat on that one.

(I love all the soups in this 10 days of soup series, but this is one of my absolute favorites!  And so I'm kicking off the series with this recipe :) )  

Tortellini Vegetable Soup

(note: this recipe makes a double batch, suitable for a large family dinner)

3 T. olive oil
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 lg. zucchini (or two small), chopped (I usually slice it into discs, then quarter them)
2 lg. carrots, peeled and cut into coins
11 c. chicken stock
2 tsp. dried basil
2 bay leaves
1 c. canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
approx. 8 ounces frozen spinach
approx. 10 ounces frozen tortellini (I've always used cheese filled, to keep this a meatless meal)
5 - 6 T. chopped fresh parsley (a great way to use some of your prolific herb garden parsley!)
black pepper, to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion and carrot.  Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the zucchini.  Continue stirring for another 5 - 6 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the stock, basil, bay leaves, tomatoes, and salt to the pot.  Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the garbanzo beans, frozen spinach, and tortellini and bring it back to a low boil.  Cook for 2 minutes, then reduce heat and it simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.  

Stir in the parsley.


It's tasty topped with shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
Serve with buttery garlic bread or garlic and cheese bread sticks (pictured below - I just used a dinner roll recipe in my bread machine, added a little garlic and Parmesan cheese to the dough, and then baked the bread twists according to the dinner roll instructions - halfway through baking, I brushed them with melted butter and topped with Parmesan cheese and oregano.)

This soup freezes well.   However, don't add the tortellini before you freeze it.  Save the pasta to add after the soup is defrosted and you are heating it on the stove.

If the soup is too thick once defrosted or when you serve it as leftovers a day later, add a bit of stock, crushed tomatoes, or tomato/vegetable juice to thin it.

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Note: when the 10 Days Series is over, all soup recipes will be available on 
The Soup Savvy Page at the top.  So please feel free to Pin them now, or come back and visit the soup page another time!  You won't miss out on anything! 

Linking up with Barb at who's hosting a meatless Lenten meal planning linkup!  Lots of great ideas for your Lenten abstinence there :)


  1. I would eat soup every single day if that was realistic. this looks amazing, thanks for sharing!

    1. mmm! me too! I often have soup leftovers for lunch while my kids are having their PB&J :)

  2. Gee whiz this all sounds delicious! I'll look into meat filled tortellini since we don't do cheese (the boys..) and those rolls! Gosh I need a bread machine! So the bread machine makes these bread sticks? I'm so curious and excited about your other soup recipes!

    1. Thanks, Amanda!
      I use the bread machine on the dough setting. After I take the dough out and it rises I just cut it into strips and twist them. I bake them halfway then brush them with buttery/garlic/Italian seasoning and finish baking. Maybe I'll get the recipe together and post here :)

  3. Yum and yum. I don't want to spend like an idiot, but what is the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?

    1. I didn't know either... just checked and it has to do with how it's made - stock is with bones and broth is with meat. I use them interchangeably for all of my recipes. (except I made something this past fall with meat parts and called it "stock"...) I think it really doesn't matter unless you're a contestant on a cooking show and if you accidentally use the wrong one they yell in your face :)

  4. Hi, I'm a new reader and I can't even remember how I found your blog, but I sure am glad after trying this! My husband hates spinach yet gobbled 2 bowls. My 6 year old (who would live off jelly sandwiches and chicken nuggets if he was allowed) tried it and swallowed the bite without his usual drama/gagging/protests of suffering and horror. (That is higher praise than I expect anyone would understand). My 1 year old ate the whole bowl!! A winner for sure. Thank you so much for sharing it :D!

    1. Hi Keely! Welcome! I'm thrilled that your family like the soup!! It made me so happy to hear that someone tried a recipe and it was a success :)
      I really appreciate that you took the time to come back and leave a comment! Thanks!


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