A hearty and filling take on the traditional Minestrone soup! My tortellini minestrone soup is loaded with veggies, like spinach and zucchini, but also has tortellini loaded with cheese, and the best part is that it comes together pretty quickly on the stovetop!
I’m all about the colorful soups in the fall!
Wouldja look at this bowl? Doesn’t it scream fall with those beautiful burgundies, hunter greens, and auburn tones?
This is my quick tortellini minestrone soup recipe. It’s loaded with beans, carrots, onions, zucchini, green beans, and spinach. Instead of the traditional ditalini pasta, we’re using cheese-stuffed tortellini shells that I picked up from the refrigerated section of my grocery store. And the part that will make all my fellow soup lovers happy — this comes together on the stovetop in no time at all!
It’s no secret that you guys love my slow cooker take on minestrone soup . So many of you guys have made it, loved it, and shared it with others. But every now and then again, I’ll get a request for a stove-top minestrone soup recipe. And guess what? I’m so there to deliver. Not only is today’s recipe a stovetop version of minestrone soup, but it’s also loaded with cheesy tortellini, so for those of us that want something a little different to try out, this hopefully hits the nail on the head.
And I’ll tell you another secret; tortellini minestrone soup is one of my favorites to make because it’s the kind of soup that tastes better as it sits. So weekly lunches look better and better as the days go by. The flavors all have a chance to meld, and what you’re left with is a bowl of uber flavorful minestrone soup.
Clearly, I’m biased, but I’ve always said my homemade minestrone soup recipe is better than Olive Garden’s take on it. Luckily, many of you have agreed with me! The secret to it is the addition of sun-dried tomato pesto. It packs a super-concentrated tomato punch to the recipe. One that is crucial if you’re making a quicker stove-top version of minestrone soup. The longer cooking process of slow cooker minestrone allows flavors to develop, but when you’re making it on the stove, you’ve got to do two things to achieve a richer tomato broth.
- don’t skip the sun-dried pesto or the tomato paste
- give the pesto and the tomato paste a head start before adding the broth. Basically, allowing the oil to deepen the color of the pesto and paste and the flavors to concentrate a bit more before you add the remaining ingredients.
- use fire-roasted tomatoes to add a new flavor to the soup.
What ingredients do you need to make tortellini minestrone soup?
- olive oil
- tomato paste
- sun-dried tomato pesto (homemade  or store-bought)
- minced garlic
- vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- red kidney beans
- diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- green beans
- baby spinach
What is mirepoix and why do we use it in tortellini minestrone soup?
Mirepoix is a simple combination of diced veggies. Most often, they are onions, carrots, and celery. Mirepoix is a starter for a lot of sauces and soups. Sautéing the mirepoix in olive oil is a great way to start as it adds a ton of flavor to your soups, stews, and sauces!
Do I have to use fire-roasted tomatoes for tortellini soup?
No need to run out and get fire-roasted tomatoes if you’ve got a big can of regular diced tomatoes on hand. I really like the roasted flavor that fire-roasted tomatoes bring, so if you have the option, opt for them. However, regular tomatoes will work just fine too!
How to make tortellini minestrone soup:
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or a dutch oven and then sauté the aromatics until they’re soft and tender. Then, add the garlic and let it cook with the red pepper flakes until fragrant. Next, we’ll add the tomato paste and the pesto and saute for another minute until the paste and the tomato pesto deepen in color. This step really helps boost the flavors in the soup, and it’s not to be skipped.
- Add the chicken or vegetable stock, seasonings, tomatoes, beans, and zucchini and allow the soup to grain a simmer.
- Then, cover, lower the heat and allow everything to hang out for 10-12 minutes if you’re adding tortellini. I like to let the soup go for 18-20 minutes if you’re boiling the tortellini separately. Add the uncooked tortellini to the soup and allow for it to simmer according to package direction. Generally, it takes 7-9 minutes. Add the baby spinach and allow for it to wilt. Taste and adjust with seasonings as desired. Serve the soup in bowls topped with parmesan cheese and a dollop of basil pesto if you’d like!
What if I’m anticipating leftovers, should I add the tortellini to the soup?
If you are anticipating leftovers or if you’re meal prepping this for a weekly lunch, I suggest boiling the tortellini separately from the soup. I like to drizzle the tortellini with a small glug of olive oil when it’s done and store it in a separate Tupperware container in the refrigerator. Just add tortellini to individual bowls before serving! If you’re packing this for lunch, you can keep the cooled tortellini portioned in zip-top bags or small containers and add it to the soup bowl right before reheating.
Other tips for making really good soup:
- To make the soup faster: use prechopped mirepoix from the produce section. It’s a quick little hack to make a homemade meal without having to spend the time chopping up the veggies.
- For the meat lovers: to make this a meal with more protein, you can add cooked sausage or even a scoop of shredded rotisserie chicken to your bowl of soup.
Other hearty soups to try:
- lemon chicken barley soup 
- cabbage and beef soup 
- Cajun Butternut Squash Soup 
- chicken and wild rice soup 
- Beef and Barley Soup 
- Harvest Pumpkin Leek Soup 
- 2 tablespoons EACH olive oil AND tomato paste
- 3 cups diced mirepoix (equal parts onions, carrots, and celery)
- 6-8 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto (homemade 
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 can (15-ounce) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup EACH: diced zucchini AND cut green beans
- 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated tortellini (I used the cheese variety) (see notes first)
- 1 ½ cups packed baby spinach
- Grated parmesan, for serving
- AROMATICS: Heat the olive oil in a large 6-quart stockpot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the mirepoix and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until the onions soften a bit. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to sauté for an additional minute. Add the tomato paste and pesto and saute for another minute until the paste deepens in color and is fragrant.
- SIMMER: Add the stock, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, kidney beans, zucchini, and green beans and allow the soup to reach a simmer. Then, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and allow the soup to simmer for 12 minutes if you’re adding the tortellini to the soup, and 18-20 minutes if you are adding the tortellini separately.
- FINISH: If you are adding the tortellini into the soup and allowing it to cook together, add it and allow for it to simmer according to package directions and timings. Add in the spinach when there are about 1-2 minutes left for the tortellini to be done (just during the last two minutes of simmering if you’re cooking tortellini separately.) Taste and adjust soup with salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately topped with grated parmesan cheese and basil pesto!
- If you are anticipating leftovers or if you’re meal prepping this for a weekly lunch, I suggest boiling the tortellini separately from the soup. I like to drizzle the tortellini with a small glug of olive oil when it’s done and store it in a separate Tupperware container in the refrigerator. Just add tortellini to individual bowls before serving! If you’re packing this for lunch, you can keep the cooled tortellini portioned in zip-top bags or small containers and add it to the soup bowl right before reheating.