These Italian soup recipes are full of flavor and perfect for any meal, from tomato basil soup to classic Tuscan vegetable stew.
Looking for Italian soup recipes? This collection of soups are some of the most nourishing and flavorful around. Alex and I have traveled to Italy a few times and love bringing back inspiration from our travels, be it pizza, gelato, or tasty soups! These recipes feature the best of Italian style cuisine: tangy tomatoes, savory garlic, doughy gnocchi, chewy tortellini, and hearty Tuscan kale.
First up in our Italian soup recipes: cozy tortellini soup! It' hearty with a lightly sweet depth that makes you want the bowl to be never-ending. Chewy tortellini fill each bite: you can use any store-bought fresh tortellini pasta. Tomato paste and paprika give just the right complexity to the broth. Whole basil leaves are added right at the end, which meld into the beautiful velvety broth. Add a bit of Parmesan cheese and it’s a little bit of heaven. Serve with crusty bread for a tasty meal.
Minestrone soup is an Italian recipe designed for using up any veggies you had on hand. This classic soup is full of chunky vegetables, white beans, and pasta in a tomato-y broth. Serve it with basil pesto (or vegan pesto) and it’s called Minestrone alla genovese. In Italian this means “minestrone soup from Genoa,” the capital of the region of Liguria Italy where all the great pesto comes from!
Pasta e ceci is a traditional Italian “pasta and chickpea soup” This stew is full of big Italian flavors: intense vibrant tomato, leafy Tuscan kale, and a creamy broth made with Parmesan rind. Swimming in it all are the chickpeas and pasta of the soup’s title, making it hearty and filling. It’s a stunner!
This classic Italian soup recipe is so easy to make. Chop the onion and garlic, simmer with tomatoes and basil, and then blend. It couldn’t be cozier, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to grilled cheese. As it stands it's a vegan soup recipe: you could also add a swirl of heavy cream or dollop of cashew cream to make it a creamy soup too!
Ribollita is a traditional Italian vegetable stew recipe thickened by bread as a way to use up old crusts going stale. It might look like just a humble stew, but the flavors in this ribollita are intensely good. It’s gently simmered so that the flavors meld together beautifully. The crusty bread cubes become almost like dumplings when soaked in the savory broth. Serve it with bread and our favorite chopped salad.
Here's a hearty Italian stew recipe that's all about savory vegetables: it features tangy artichokes and hearty lentils in a garlicky tomato broth. Dark leafy Tuscan kale brings in nutrients and soaks up the flavor-packed broth. To make it a meal, serve with crusty artisan bread and garnish with Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese. It's a filling meal packed with plant based protein.
This Italian soup recipe is chock full of hearty veggies, almost like a minestrone. But instead of pasta, it's got doughy gnocchi! These chewy dumplings make each bite a little more cozy. This soup takes just over 30 minutes to make, but it tastes like it's been simmering all day. It’s chock full of nutritious veggies: spinach, chickpeas, green beans, tomatoes, onion, and garlic.
Food is all about vibe, and this soup channels all those cozy and warm feelings! This tomato gnocchi soup recipe is tangy and bright, filled with chewy gnocchi pillows and topped with Parmesan cheese. The secret to the creamy tomato basil base is after sauteing onion and garlic, deglaze the pan with white wine vinegar. The tangy vinegar brings out the brightness in the tomatoes: and combined with peppery fresh basil, it's irresistible.
This Italian soup recipe we've lovingly dubbed “pizza soup” because it tastes like liquid pizza! Really! The pizza flavor is due in part to the San Marzano tomatoes, a variety of tomato that’s grown in Italy and available canned in grocery stores all over the world. The tomatoes are sauteed with garlic, fennel, and smoked paprika, which bring a meaty and savory undertone. Throw in some Tuscan kale to the mix, and you won’t even tell it’s there: all you'll be able to taste is pizza!
Leave it to the Italians to have beautiful words for even the most unglamorous concepts. “Stracciatella” (strah-chi-ah-tay-lah) literally means “rags” in Italian. When it comes to gelato, the “rags” are bits of chocolate mixed throughout a creamy vanilla base. But stracciatella also applies to soup. In this case, the rags are eggs – a kind of Italian egg drop soup. The Pecorino cheese and eggs bring a delightful savoriness.
Last but not least in our Italian soup recipes: another tomato-based soup! This bright red tomato artichoke soup is bursting with tangy flavor, but it uses only simple ingredients. It's the perfect thing for a gray day! Serve with garlic croutons and shaved Parmesan.
Making homemade vegetable broth
If you have time and leftover vegetables, a great way to use them is making homemade vegetable broth! It uses up old vegetable scraps and is a great way to minimize food waste in your kitchen! It takes about 1 hour to make. Here’s our Easy Vegetable Broth Recipe.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and basil for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, red pepper flakes, broth, both cans of tomatoes and their juices, kosher salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the green beans, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Break apart any clumps in the gnocchi, then add them to the pot and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted, about 1 minute.
To serve, ladle soup into bowl and top with Parmesan and basil leaves if desired. Allow to cool slightly before diving in!
*Note: Use fire roasted tomatoes if at all possible; avoid “no salt added” varieties. With the fresh basil, the soup is very flavorful and doesn’t require the addition of cheese, but feel free to add if desired.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.