Preparation Time: 30 minutes to prepare it; 1 hour to cook on the stovetop; 2 to 8 hours if you are using a slow cooker.
Servings: Four to six generous servings
This recipe for Tuscan Tortellini Soup is simple to make and absolutely loaded with savory Italian flavors and fabulous textures. If you are looking for a soup recipe that the whole family will love, this recipe definitely fits the bill. Even people who are not generally a fan of soup as a meal will find this hearty soup filling and appealing.
Tortellini is an Italian style of pasta that is folded in a sort of ring shape. Some people say the tortellini pasta resembles a navel. Most versions of tortellini are filled with some sort of delicious filling. Some are filled with cheeses, while others are filled with meat or herbs and veggies. You can find tortellini sold fresh in the supermarket dairy case.
However, it is also available frozen and dried. All versions of tortellini will work well with this recipe. You will just need to read the instructions on the package and cook the pasta the way that the manufacturer recommends.
By the way, if you can’t find tortellini or you’re throwing a meal together out of stuff you already have on hand in the pantry, you may substitute ravioli for the tortellini. Either way, this soup is going to be wonderful.
Our recipe is written to make use of a slow cooker. Slow cookers are one of our favorite ways to save time and effort in the kitchen. However, if you want to cook the soup in a pot on the stove, feel free to do so. Simply cook the soup on a very low heat for about an hour on the stovetop before you add the pre-cooked pasta.
Our recipe for Tuscan Tortellini Soup includes ground Italian sausage. Yet, if you want to make a vegetarian option, this soup will be just as delicious without the meat in it. Just omit the meat and it will be fine. If you want, you can stir in a rinsed and drained can of white beans to increase the protein level and make up for the volume of the missing meat.
You will definitely want to include a tablespoon of Italian seasoning if you choose to omit the meat to make up for the missing seasoning in the Italian sausage. The recipe has so many other components and seasonings that the lack of meat will not be noticed.
Add a slice of crisp, roasted garlic bread or, for those with a heartier appetite, serve a grilled cheese sandwich to complete the meal.
Tuscan Tortellini Soup Recipe
- 1 pound Italian sausage, browned and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon dried onion powder
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 fifteen ounce can of Italian style diced tomatoes
- 24 ounces of canned tomato sauce
- 3 cups chicken broth, or 3 chicken bullion cubes dissolved in 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ cups frozen spinach
- 2 cups half and half
- 10 ounces fresh, dried, or frozen tortellini
Step 1: In a large slow cooker or a soup pot, combine the Italian Sausage, onion powder, garlic, basil, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the chicken broth and the salt.
Place the frozen spinach in a colander and run cool water over it to thaw it out. Stir it into the soup along with the water.
Step 2: Turn on the slow cooker to low heat, put the lid in place, and allow the soup to cook for six to eight hours.
Or, you can set the slow cooker to high heat and allow it to cook for two to four hours. If you are not using a slow cooker, place the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a tightly fitting lid and allow the soup to simmer for at least an hour, lifting the lid and stirring it from time to time to keep it from scorching on the bottom.
Step 3: Prepare the tortellini according to the instructions on the package.
Usually, this will involve boiling a pot of water and cooking the pasta for a set amount of time. Drain the pasta after cooking and cool it a little by running cool water over the pasta. If you are cooking ahead of time, store the pasta in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container until you are almost ready to serve the soup.
Step 4: Fifteen minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, stir in the half and a half and the cooked tortellini.
Replace the lid of the slow cooker or the soup pot and allow the soup to be warmed.
Step 5: Serve the Tuscan Tortellini Soup accompanied by crusty bread.
You can top it Parmesan or mozzarella cheese if you desire.
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.