This lemony tortellini soup recipe is easy to make in about 30 minutes with whatever flavor of tortellini you love best.
My toddler is currently obsessed with tortellini, so we’ve been eating a record amount of it over the past year. And in my efforts to come up with different ways to serve tortellini (and add some extra veggies to the mix), this simple lemony soup has turned into a new family favorite. ♡
It’s nothing revolutionary — just a simple soup with veggies, tortellini, and spinach. But the addition of chopped fennel, lemon, fresh dill and a hint of crushed red pepper flakes give the broth such lovely extra layers of flavor and freshness. It’s the perfect soup for this time of year that’s nice and cozy, yet still tastes light and lemony as we head into spring. And best of all, everything can come together in less than 30 minutes!
Feel free to use whatever flavor of tortellini you love best here. And while we generally keep this soup vegetarian here in our house, it would also be absolutely delicious with some Italian sausage or chicken added in too. My toddler would just recommend serving it with plenty of extra Parmesan on top. As he loves to say in his adorable little voice, “more cheese please!”
Let’s make some tortellini soup together, friends!
Lemony Tortellini Soup Ingredients
Here are a few brief notes about the tortellini soup ingredients you will need for this recipe:
Tortellini: We typically use fresh tortellini when making this soup (from the refrigerated section of the grocery store; any flavor will do), but frozen or dried tortellini could also work here too. Just note that you will need to cook frozen or dried tortellini a bit longer, according to package instructions, and will need to add more broth with dried tortellini.
Veggies: I used a classic mirepoix mix (onion, carrots and celery) and fresh fennel. You’re welcome to dice or slice the veggies however you prefer.
Greens: I typically add a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach to this soup, but kale or collard greens would be great options too.
Chicken stock: I recommend a good-quality organic chicken or vegetable stock for this soup.
Seasonings: We’ll use a simple mix of minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, fine sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to season the soup.
Lemon: We’ll use both the zest and the juice to make this soup nice and lemony.
Fresh herbs: I love adding a generous amount of fresh dill to this soup. But no worries if dill isn’t your thing — fresh basil or rosemary would be delicious options too. (If you use rosemary, I recommend mincing and sautéing it with the garlic.)
Parmesan: The more the merrier when it comes to topping this soup! If you happen to have a leftover Parmesan rind on hand too, I highly recommend simmering it with the broth.
Here are a few additional variations that you are welcome to try with this tortellini soup recipe:
Add a protein: Sauté Italian sausage or chicken with the veggies if you would like to add a protein to this soup.
Use different stuffed pasta: Use your favorite tortellini, cappelletti, mezzelune or other small stuffed pasta in place of the tortellini.
Use different herbs: Fresh basil, chives or parsley would work well in place of (or in addition to) the fresh dill. Or you could also sauté some rosemary, thyme, oregano or other herbs in with the garlic.
Make it vegetarian or vegan: Use plant-based tortellini and vegetable broth to make vegetarian tortellini soup, and also omit the Parmesan to make vegan tortellini soup.
Make it gluten-free: Use GF tortellini to make gluten-free tortellini soup.
More Easy Soup Recipes
Looking for more quick and easy soups to try? Here are a few of our favorites:
This lemony tortellini soup is easy to make in about 30 minutes with whatever flavor of tortellini you love best.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups chicken stock
16 ounces fresh tortellini
2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
1 lemon, zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons juice)
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh dill (or other fresh herbs), to taste
fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Sauté veggies.Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, carrot and celery. Sauté for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Simmer.Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.
Add tortellini.Add the tortellini, spinach, lemon zest and juice, fresh dill. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tortellini are cooked through.
Season.Taste and season the soup with salt, pepper, and extra dill or lemon juice if needed.
Serve.Serve warm, garnished with lots of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.