When you’re craving something hot, hearty, and filling, whip up this recipe for Italian Tortellini Soup. Italian sausage, cheese tortellini, and spinach are cooked in a creamy, almost marinara-type broth. This hearty soup that eats like a meal and will be a family favorite. Make it on the stovetop or slow cooker.Jump to Recipe
Some soups are just ahead above the rest in taste, comfort, and the ability to fill and satisfy us. And ItalianTortellini Soup fits nicely into this category! It has become one of a handful of go-to soups that we especially love here at StoneGable!
Wouldn’t you love a big pot of soup filled with Italian flavors and pasta? I’ve made Italian Tortellini Soup with Sausage And Spinach for quite a while trying different recipes that call for sausage and tortellini and I’ve been tweaking them into the best Tortellini soup you have ever eaten. This soup is easy and delicious and eats like a meal! Let’s make soup!
Italian Tortellini Soup is a one-pot meal. And who doesn’t love making a meal in one pot?
Debbie, one of my wonderful readers wrote…
I made this soup for our dinner this evening. It is outstanding! Like you we are soup lovers so I’m always on the hunt for a “new” soup recipe. Served it with garlic toast. All I can say is AMAZING!.. Thank you Yvonne.
You are welcome, Debbie! I’m so thrilled you gave this recipe a try.
WHY WE MAKE SOUP AT OUR HOME
More than any other type of food, we love soup!
Soup is so warm and flavorful and there is a synergistic marriage of all the ingredients as they bathe in a delicious broth.
I grew up on soup. My grandmother made soup and her home smelled delicious! She would spend all day dicing and chopping vegetables into the most perfect little squares. And she would spend hours making her own stock for broths. She knew the secret of coaxing every little bit of flavor out of a piece of stew meat or a chicken back!
My mother learned how to make soup from Nani and so did I.
And when I moved into my first apartment, after college, I began to make soup like the women before me!
And I think that is part of my love for making soup. It is a touchstone to my past that tastes just so good!
When Bobby and I were dating I’d make him soup when I had him over for dinner. It’s true what they say about the way to a man’s heart. He fell in love with me and he also fell in love with soup!
So it is only natural for me to love finding new soups that are easy to make. When I found a recipe for Italian Tortellini Soup I could tell just by reading the recipe that it would be especially delicious!
I’ve tried several different recipes for Italian Tortellini Soup tweaking them each time to make them my own.
And now I’m thrilled to share my version of this soup with you! I hope you will love it as much as we do.
WHAT MAKES THIS SOUP SO DELICIOUS
Italian Tortellini soup is so delicious because of its classic profile of flavorful Italian ingredients and al dente pasta. YUM!
It is a trip to Little Italy in a bowl!
LET’S MAKE IT EASY
This soup is so easy to make. As a matter of fact, it only takes about 45 minutes to serve up a big bowl from start to finish.
The ingredients are nothing fancy and can be found at any grocery store. You might have all the ingredients to make this soup in your pantry and frig! Although the ingredients are not fancy the combination of them is sublime!
Using ingredients that cook quickly as well as convenience ingredients like boxed chicken stock, jarred marinara sauce, and frozen tortellini this is an easy weeknight meal as well as the backbone of a meal to feed a crowd.
Grab a large dutch oven and have all the ingredients sitting out and ready to literally dump into the pot to make the soup!
Once the onion and carrots and Italian sausage are cooked the rest just gets put in the pot and simmered. Yes, it is that easy!
INGREDIENTS IN ITALIAN TORTELLINI SOUP
Let’s look at the ingredients. As a home cook, I love to know what each ingredient does for a recipe.
Here’s a list of Italian Tortellini Soup ingredients and how they are used in this soup…
Olive oil– use the good stuff! Extra virgin and cold-pressed. It’s also an Italian classic and starts this soup off right. Every good pot of soup starts with a little lubrication!
Italian Sausage– Sausage with a special blend of Italian spices that give the soup a big dose of protein. You can cook up the Italian sausage ahead of time and even freeze it and have it ready to make soup.
Onions and carrots– Dice the onions and grate the carrot using the large holes of a box grater. These veggies add to the sweetness of the broth.
Garlic– what would an Italian dish be without garlic? Don’t skip the garlic! I press the garlic with a garlic press. So much easier than mincing it.
Italian seasonings: Adds wonderful Italian flavor to the soup. Don’t skip the seasoning!
Crushed red pepper flakes: Adds depth of flavor and a little hint of warmth.
Flour: Thickener for the soup.
Tomato paste: Gives this soup a rich tomato flavor.
Chicken broth or stock: Choose a chicken stock with rich flavor for this soup. This is the base of the broth.
Jarred marinara sauce: Adds a wonderful Italian tomato flavor to the broth.
Bay leaves: Simmering them in the soup releasing their lemony-menthol fragrances and infuses the soup with a gentle and pleasant flavor.
Parmesan rind: Imparts a hint of delicious funky cheese flavor and adds to the overall flavor of the broth.
Half and half: This adds richness and a delicious smoothness to this soup. You can use heavy cream but I like half and half because it does not coat my mouth but still adds creaminess to the soup. I’ve not had an issue with the half and half curdling because of the acid in the soup.
Salt and pepper: layering a little salt as you cook makes this soup so flavorful. And make sure to add freshly ground pepper to the soup while it simmers.
Tortellini: a fun and flavorful tri-shaped pasta filled with four Italian cheeses.
Double this recipe! I make a double batch in an 8-quart soup pot because this soup goes quickly at our house. It’s just so good for lunches or to share as dinner for someone under the weather!
Here are a few tips that will help guarantee that your Italian Tortellini Soup will turn out delicious!
It’s all about the prep. I like to prep as much as I can earlier in the day and then put it all together to make the soup at dinnertime.
Prep the onions, carrots, and Italian sausage first. Get out the rest of the ingredients while the carrots and onions are sauteing. Set out measuring cups, a whisk, and a spoon or two.
I use shredded carrots for this recipe rather than diced carrots. I like the flecks of orange throughout the soup.
Use a good chicken broth or chicken stock.
Do not overcook the tortellini. I cook it till it is just al dente. It will continue to cook in the hot broth.
If you don’t have Italian spices you can use 1/2 tsp of oregano as a substitute.
Take the Italian sausage out of the casings and add them to the Dutch oven with a little olive oil. The best way to break up sausage (and hamburger meat) is to mash it with an old-fashioned potato masher. Works wonderfully! Mash it up and let it cook then mash it up some more. Repeat until the sausage is crumbly.
When you add the liquids remember to add a piece of Parmesan rind. Save the rinds from the Parmesan cheese wedges. Cut them into one-inch pieces and wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in a freezer bag. Pop them into the freezer and anytime you make spaghetti sauce, Pasta Fagioli, Minestrone Soup, or something that would benefit from a little Parmesan flavor, drop in a rind!
It’s important to bring the liquids of the soup to boil and then reduce them to a simmer.
Layer the salt. Add a little to the sausage, the onion and carrots and the broth. And add a few good grinds of freshly ground pepper.
Although Italian Tortellini Soup does not need one extra thing you can add a couple of garnishes to make it extra pretty and add even more flavor!
Add a good swirl of extra virgin olive oil in your soup or top it with a heavy shave of Parmesan cheese. Or add both to your bowl of hearty soup.
Also, think about adding chiffonades of fresh basil or a sprig of fresh thyme.
The soup gets even better the next day or two. YUM!
The tortellini does have a tendency to get big and soft but it still tastes wonderful! You can always refrigerate the soup sans cooked tortellini and add a batch of new tortellini to the warmed-up soup and cook according to directions.
Or you can cook the tortellini totally separate from the soup and add the tortellini to each soup bowl before pouring soup over it. Refrigerate any leftovers separately.
HOW TO FREEZE THIS SOUP
Italian Tortellini Soup is a wonderful soup to freeze. Letting lots of those flavors marry together makes them even better!
You can freeze the soup with the tortellini in it but they tend to get big and soft. However, the soup still tastes delicious!
Or you can make the soup to the point of adding the frozen (or fresh) tortellini, cool, and freeze in an airtight container.
When you want to use the soup thaw it in the refrigerator for a day or add the frozen soup to a pot and heat to a simmer. Add the tortellini to the soup and cook according to the directions and serve.
CAN I MAKE A SLOW COOKER VERSION?
Yes, you can! And it is so so easy.
Add the olive oil to a pan and crumble and cook the sausage until done. Remove from the pan and set aside. Cook the onions and carrots in the same pan until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and spices and cook for one or two minutes.
Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker except the flour, cream, tortellini, and spinach. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
30 minutes before the soup is done, turn the soup on low and add the cream, spinach, and tortellini.
If you want a thicker soup, turn the slow cooker on high for 30 minutes before the soup is done. Make a slurry with 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup of chicken stock and whisk it into the soup. Let the soup cook on high for about 30 minutes until it has thickened. Then add the cream, spinach, and tortellini to the slow cooker giving it a good stir, and continue to cook until the tortellini is tender.
Because this soup is not rocket science it just begs to get creative and make a soup that suits your tastes and preferences!
Use turkey sausage, or ground turkey, or beef! Use sweet or hot Italian sausage.
Try substituting jarred vodka sauce for marinara sauce. And customize your soup by choosing from the huge variety of marina flavors and add-ins.
Add your favorite vegetables for a more healthy soup.
You can make this soup with beef broth too.
If you don’t want to use marinara use diced or fire-roasted canned tomatoes instead.
If spinach is not your thing substitute kale (not my thing) or swiss chard. I can’t wait to make this soup with swiss chard when I can find it in our grocery store.
If you like a spicier version, add more crushed pepper flakes or add some hot sauce to the soup.
LET’S MAKE ITALIAN TORTELLINI SOUP WITH SAUSAGE AND SPINACH
ITALIAN TORTELLINI SOUP WITH SAUSAGE AND SPINACH
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 4 fresh garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
- 1 TBS Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers, crushed in palm and then added
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 6 cups good chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup jarred marinara sauce
- 1 inch Parmean cheese rind (optional)
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 9 oz. pkg four cheese tortellini
- 3 cups spinach, kale or swiss chard
- salt and pepper
- Add olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
- Take sausage our of their casings and cook, breaking apart, in the olive oil until browned.
- Remove the sausage to a plate.
- Add onions and carrots to the dutch oven and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent.
- Add garlic and cook one minute.
- Add Italian spices and red pepper flakes to the dutch oven and bloom the spices stirring about one minute.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and combine. Cook stirring for a couple minutes.
- Whisk in the chicken stock. Keep whisking until the flour has incorporated into the stock.
- Whisk in tomato paste and marinara sauce.
- Add the bay leaves, the Parmesan cheese rind, cream and the cooked sausage to the dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add tortellini and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Add the spinach the last 3 minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot and top with olive oil and shaved Parmesan cheese.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
OTHER SOUPS TO ENJOY…
You might like to try these soups…
I hope you will try Italian Tortellini Soup With Sausage and Spinach!