Thanks to this allergy-induced haze that is now my life, we’ve had to extend soup season through spring. Is there anything better than a cozy broth-y veggie packed soup filled with delicious, pillowy morsels of tortellini when you’re feeling poorly? I think not.
When I first moved to Vancouver and couldn’t cook a lick, we used to order minestrone soup from a cute little Italian place on Robson Street whenever I was sick, it sort of become a tradition that sort of evolved into variations this tortellini and vegetable soup, when we started cooking at home.
My sister has made this soup so many times, she could probably put it together in her sleep; it’s simple, flavour packed and comes together quickly with any combination of vegetables and tortellini or whatever handy pasta you have in your pantry.
Hearty, comforting and satisfying, this particular soup makes good use of semi-dried tomatoes. If you’ve never tried semi-dried tomatoes, here’s your chance – similar to sun-dried tomatoes, these are softer and juicier with an intensified tomato-ey flavour. I had them for the first time in an antipasto platter and I’ve been hooked ever since. They enhance the flavour of soups and stews with robust sweet savoury tanginess.
You’ll find jarred semi-dried tomatoes at specialty food stores and some grocery shops; slow roasted tomatoes are an excellent substitute and tomato paste works as well. Blended with garlic, pepper and whatever is left over from chopping the vegetables, this helps thicken the soup and imparts that wonderful tang to the soup.
I like a bit of mushroom in this soup, I toss in a handful dried porcini mushrooms; you can omit that if you’re not a fan, but do use the porcini mushroom powder, it’ll infuse the soup with deep, rich and nutty savoury umami flavours.
I know I say this of most of the recipes I post, but this is truly one of my favourite soups. For evidence, please see two other (very similar) tortellini and vegetable soup recipes I’ve posted over the years.
A big bowl of this chunky soup delivers rich complex flavours and texture; there’s the delicate tortellini, chewy mushroom and subtle crunch from the vegetables.
A note on finding vegan tortellini, since I know it’s a little difficult to find; I’m lucky to have a local source for dairy-free and eggless mushroom tortellini, but Kite Hill has fresh vegan tortellini as well, just let it simmer in the soup for however long it says on the package.
For tomato blend
- 1/2 cup semi dried tomatoes or 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 – 4 garlic cloves
- 1 habanero pepper or a milder alternative
- Thumb-sized fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped or 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- Scraps and ends from chopped onions, leeks and other vegetables
- 1/2 cup water, plus more to rinse out blender
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped (save scraps and ends to blend with tomato)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (plus more, if needed, to taste)
- 1 large leek, trimmed and diced (save scraps and ends to blend with tomato)
- 2 tablespoons porcini mushroom powder
- 3 - 4 carrots, chopped, about 2 cups
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 6 – 8 cups vegetable broth/stock
- 1 1/2 cup dried tortellini
- 1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets (about 2 cups)
- Combine tomatoes (or tomato paste), garlic, pepper, ginger and scraps from onion and leeks into a blender
- Add water, blend until smooth and set aside
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat
- Add onions and salt, cook, stirring often for about 3 – 4 minutes until onions begin to soften
- Stir in leeks, and let it cook for another minute or so
- Add blended tomatoes and 1 cup of water to rinse out blender
- Mix to combine, then cover and cook for 2 – 3 minutes
- Stir in mushroom powder and add carrots
- Add cauliflower, dried mushrooms and vegetable stock
- Cover and let soup come to a boil
- Add tortellini, let cook for about 4 – 6 minutes
- Add broccoli, stir and cover, and let soup simmer until tortellini is almost al dente
- Check seasoning and add more salt to taste if needed, reduce heat and let soup simmer for about 7 -10 minutes for soup to thicken and for tortellini to cook
- Serve warm, ladled into bowls with freshly ground black pepper
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 2 Cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190 Total Fat: 6.8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Sodium: 235mg Carbohydrates: 21.5g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 4.9g Protein: 10.1g