You'll love this chicken tortellini soup because it's an easy soup recipe simple enough for a weeknight meal, but also a bit fancy for entertaining too! It's a healthy soup loaded with tender vegetables and wilted spinach, and full of Italian flavors! It's also an easy soup for freezing too, I'll show you how below!
An Easy Customizable Soup
- What I love most about this soup, is how easy it is to customize!
- The soup base is vegan, so you could omit the chicken and tortellini and add a can of rinsed cannelloni beans instead. For another great vegan soup recipe try my Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup
- Or for vegetarians you could omit the chicken and just serve the tortellini
- Or for those who are Gluten-Free you could omit the tortellini and just add the chicken.
- Since you can cook the chicken and tortellini separately it's easy to switch up the options to suit whoever is at the table!
- Chicken For this recipe I like to roast the chicken in the oven because that way you can multi-task while preparing the soup on the cooktop. It also helps to keep the base of the soup vegan for any family members who need a vegan soup. If you'd like a soup recipe where the chicken cooks with the soup, try my delicious Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup.
- Onions I prefer yellow onions over white onions because you'll get a bit more flavor.
- Zucchini Dice the zucchini and the onions around the same size so they'll sauté at the same rate. It also makes it easier to eat that way too since they can both fit in a soup spoon together!
- Cherry Tomatoes Off season you can't beat a cherry tomato for the flavor they provide. They will always be better than a larger tomato. In fact, off-season cherry tomatoes are my go-to-tomato for my Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe
- Vegetable Broth Read the ingredient list before purchasing, look for vegetable broth whose first ingredient is carrots (over onions) it will be a bit sweeter and more flavorful. Over the years I've learned this trick the hard way!
- Tomato Paste Brings out the Italian flavor profile of this soup.
- Italian Seasoning Blend If you don't have any Italian Seasoning on hand, you can substitute the same amount called for in the recipe with 1 teaspoon dried basil and ½ teaspoon dried oregano.
- Garlic I prefer fresh garlic in this recipe but you can also substitute it for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder instead
- Baby Spinach The spinach is a great addition in this soup for the nutrition it provides, but it also adds a great pop of color. You can substitute the spinach for kale or use both for a real nutritious punch!
- Cheese Tortellini You can use cheese, or spinach or really any type of tortellini you like.
- Parmesan Cheese Finish off the soup with a few shavings of Parmesan cheese. I like to use a vegetable peeler for this to create larger slivers of cheese. But you could grate it too.
- Flat Leaf Italian Parsley The parsley adds a great freshness to this soup once it's done, but you could also use fresh basil too.
A Few Tips on Tortellini
- Use fresh tortellini over dried tortellini. The fresh tortellini is found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. It will provide the best texture. It's also great in the summer time for a quick and easy chilled Tortellini Pasta Salad.
- Smaller tortellini will work better over larger tortellini. Since the tortellini will expand while cooking, it may get a bit crowded with the chicken if the tortellini is too big.
- If you don't have access to fresh tortellini, you can substitute the tortellini for cheese ravioli or dried mini pasta shells. Adding the pasta shells would be similar to my Minestrone Soup Recipe.
What to Serve with This Soup:
- This soup pairs beautifully with garlic bread! Try my Garlic Knots Made with Store-Bought Pizza Dough Recipe
- Or you could serve it with a tossed salad and a simple vinaigrette.
- Or could also omit the chicken and serve it as a starter before my Chicken Piccata Recipe
How To Store and Freeze The Soup:
- This soup will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, warm up individual servings, as opposed to the whole soup each time.
- This soup also freezes beautifully! But freeze it before adding the tortellini, since the tortellini is too fragile and will break down and get a bit mushy when you reheat it from a frozen state.
- I love to freeze this soup with the 2-cup souper cubes. They are made from silicone and once frozen the soup easily pops out like ice cubes, or rather "soup cubes"! It's a fantastic way to freeze individual portions of soup. I learned about them thanks to Lisa of Downshiftology they came in a care package for her fantastic new cookbook Healthy Meal Prep. A great resource for meal prepping!
- Then you can reheat the soup in a small pot on the stove top, or in the microwave.
- Once the soup is hot and liquified, then add a handful of tortellini and it will cook right in the soup.
- 2 Bone-in, Skin On Chicken Breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion
- 1 cup zucchini
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup water
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 cups fresh Cheese Tortellini
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Place the chicken on a sheet pan, fitted with a rack, and lined with aluminum foil. Roast the chicken for 40-45mins until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil in the pot. Then add the diced onion, and cook until translucent and fragrant, then add the zucchini and cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, then add the ¼ cup of water, reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the tomatoes soften and begin to breakdown.
- Then add the vegetable broth, and tomato paste, and whisk to combine. Then add the Italian seasoning, and garlic (or garlic powder) and stir to combine. Reduce heat to a low simmer.
- Remove the skin of the roasted chicken, and shred the meat off the bone with two forks. Then add the shredded chicken to the soup.
- Then add the spinach, stir until the spinach has wilted, and add the tortellini. Simmer until the tortellini, is soft and pillowy and rises to the top.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve garnished with grated parmesan cheese and freshly torn Italian parsley, or a dollop of store-bought pesto is good too!
- This soup freezes best before adding the tortellini. Allow it to cool completely. Then portion out individual servings into a souper cube, or other freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat in the microwave or remove the soup cubes and reheat on the stovetop. Once the soup is hot add cooked tortellini, or if reheating on the stovetop, cook the tortellini in the soup until it is tender and rises to the top.
When reheating the soup from a frozen state if it's too thick, thin it which some more vegetable broth or a little bit of water. Once thinned check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, or garlic powder as needed.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 898mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g