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The definition of cozy in a bowl, this tortellini soup is easy to put together and its hearty flavor pleases everyone at the table!

Tortellini soup
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Ready for the coziest, heartiest soup to hit your bowl? This recipe is not one Alex and I invented, though we wish we did! It comes from a new cookbook of our friends at Green Kitchen Stories, David and Luise. They’ve written their fourth cookbook called Little Green Kitchen, a book of simple vegetarian family recipes. And if this vegetarian tortellini soup is any indication, this book is packed with the most delicious, creative and colorful recipes you’ll find. Keep reading for the recipe, and more about the book!

Want a creamy version? Go to Classic Creamy Tortellini Soup.

Little Green Kitchen cookbok

About the book: Little Green Kitchen

We’ve been major fans of David and Luise’s work for years, so we’re elated to see this newest book of theirs! Little Green Kitchen is a book of vegetarian recipes for families, simple enough for kiddos but tasty enough for adults. (Really, when Alex tasted this tortellini soup, he was like “I never had anything like this as a kid!”)

David and Luise have three kiddos and live in Sweden. Though you wouldn’t guess it from their seriously drop dead gorgeous website and Instagram feed, like most families, they still struggle to get healthy and delicious meals on the table every night. So they wrote this sweet book! It’s not just for kids, but there are hints throughout where kids can get involved.

“We try to have a positive and relaxed approach to healthy food and we truly believe that by eating well we can all feel better”, David says in the opening. When you take a look at the book, you can tell right away: for them, eating is all about beauty, color, and fun! This book is so visual that you’ve absolutely got to pick up a copy so you can see what we’re talking about. It’s a gorgeous compilation and perfect for gifts.

Side note: We were able to meet up with David for an evening in Barcelona last year and he is an incredibly lovely person. We noshed on tapas together and he let Larson put stickers on him and ride his scooter through the streets (scroll down here for a sweet photo).

Get the book! Little Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl

Tortellini soup

How to make vegetarian tortellini soup

So, this vegetarian tortellini soup: how to describe the flavor? It savory and hearty, with a lightly sweet depth that makes you want the bowl to be never-ending. The trick? Sauteing the onion with tomato paste and paprika before adding the rest of the ingredients gives just the right complexity to the broth. And a bit of carrot and celery add texture and crunch. Basil leaves are added right after the tortellini cooks, which meld into the beautiful velvety broth. Add a bit of Parmesan cheese and it’s a little bit of heaven.

How to make this easy tortellini soup? Here’s the main steps:

  1. Saute diced onion with tomato paste. Saute for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Adding tomato paste to the minced onion adds body to the flavor.
  2. Add diced carrots and celery. Saute for about 5 more minutes.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes until the veggies are soft. Add your salt & pepper at this point, too.
  4. Add the fresh tortellini, then stir in the basil. Fresh tortellini cooks up in just 2 minutes, so this step is done in a breeze. Once they’re finished, stir in the basil leaves.
  5. Serve! Garnish with Parmesan cheese shavings and serve warm.

In the book Little Green Kitchen, they also mention that kids can help with this process as well! The best places to let kids take over? They can dice the carrots and celery with a kid-safe knife. Then they can pour in the broth, and do the final garnish with Parmesan cheese. (If we know anything from our toddler, it’s that kids love to garnish.)

PS Growing your own fresh basil is a breeze! See our post How to grow fresh herbs.

Related: Best Basil Recipes | Best Healthy Dinner Recipes

How to make tortellini soup

What is tortellini?

So what is tortellini anyway? Tortellini is a pasta shaped in a ring, filled with cheese, meat or vegetable fillings. Usually tortellini is sold in the grocery store fresh or frozen. However, there are some brands that offer dried tortellini as well. Fresh pasta cooks much faster than dried, so fresh tortellini like the one used in this soup will cook up in just a few minutes. What’s shown here is actually tortelloni, large-sized tortellini with a solid center.

What to make with tortellini? Well, of course our top pick is this tortellini soup! But if you’re looking for other tortellini recipes, here are a few more:

What is tortellini

This tortellini soup recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, look for gluten-free tortellini. (An online search can find anything these days!)

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Tortellini soup

Vegetarian Tortellini Soup

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings 1x


The definition of cozy in a bowl, this tortellini soup is easy to put together and its hearty flavor pleases everyone at the table!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 14-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 ounces good-quality fresh tortellini (aka tortelloni, found in the refrigerated section)
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Mince the garlic. Dice the onion. Peel the carrot; chop the carrot and celery into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and saute the onion and garlic with the tomato paste and paprika over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften.
  3. Add the carrots and celery and saute for another 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
  4. Add the tomatoes and vegetable broth to the pan with the kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid ajar for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Add the tortellini to the pan and cook according to the package instructions, before stirring in the basil leaves.
  6. Serve hot topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of oil. (We had fresh thyme on hand, so we garnished with that as well!)


Reprinted with permission from Little Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Liuise Vindahl

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Looking for more Italian vegetarian recipes?

Outside of this tortellini soup, here are a few more Italian vegetarian recipes we love:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Christine Labas says:

    I made this tonight, but I had to use about two teaspoons of dried Italian seasoning rather than fresh basil. Still was delicious. Cooking the tomato paste really deepens the flavor.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Absolutely delicious, I’m so glad I made this. The vegetables are crunchy and add a fresh contrast to the tangy and savory taste of the tomato. The fresh basil elevated the soup, and added another level of flavor. The creamy and tender tortellini ties it all together. I will definitely make this again. Perfect for the fall season.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Jean says:

    Hey Sonja and Alex! I’ve made this soup many times and LOVE it. Have you tried it in the instant pot? Any recommendations on timing? Thanks so much and hope you’re all doing great!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Made this and added spinach and turkey meatballs. Thank you Sonja and Alex!

  5. Beth Weston says:

    Made this soup tonight – another gloomy, rainy June day in Indianapolis. This soup was perfect and SO delicious on this damp evening!! Added a can of white beans and a bit more broth to compensate. Also tore up a few kale leaves from the garden. Happy to be harvesting basil for something aside from pesto! Awesome soup!! Paired with the pita chip recipe from A Couple Cooks Pretty Simple Cooking cookbook. YUM and YUM! Thanks guys!!

    1. Alex says:

      Yes! That sounds wonderful with fresh garden basil and kale.