If you’re looking for a truly hearty and comforting dinner you have to try this Spicy Minestrone Soup with tortellini. So simple to make, plus the tortellini turn this traditional soup into a really satisfying meal. A pot of this on the stove is perfect when life gets busy but you still want to eat well.
When it comes to great taste, no store bought soup can match homemade. This spicy Italian Tortellini Soup is just packed full of goodness and so much flavor.
Beans, greens and pasta swimming in tasty broth result in a naturally balanced dinner.
Make a big pot of this gourmet Minestrone soup with Kale and your whole family will be back for seconds in no time.
Why You Should Try Italian Tortellini Soup
- Minestrone was genuinely a meal in a bowl before meals in a bowl were even a thing.
- The red pepper flakes in this recipe are not traditional but give the soup a wonderful spicy kick.
- This recipe is very forgiving and was designed as a way to use up old veggies. A 'clean the fridge out' soup if ever there was one!
- Minestrone is one of those recipes where the ingredients mix and almost taste better the next day. So it's great to prep in advance.
- Any leftovers make a great quick lunch.
- You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like by adding more or less red pepper flakes.
- Minestrone is a perfect freezer filler. Double the soup, enjoy some for dinner and freeze the rest for a later day.
What is Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone is a hearty and delicious Italian soup made from broth and canned tomatoes.
It can be vegetarian or meat based and is extremely flexible since it traditionally contains whichever vegetables happen to be in season.
It also traditionally contains beans and pieces of pasta and is topped with parmesan cheese.
How to Make Italian Tortellini Soup
Find a full printable recipe with measurements below.
Place a large, heavy bottomed, pot over a medium heat and sauté the pancetta in olive oil for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat, add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes until soft.
Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes and tomato paste and add the canned tomatoes, beans, beef broth, a pinch of sugar and season to taste.
Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the tortellini and simmer for a further 5 minutes until cooked. Now add the kale and allow to wilt in the broth.
Check the seasoning and serve.
Serving Italian Tortellini Soup to Vegetarian/Vegan diners
If you plan on serving this Italian Minestrone soup to either vegetarian or vegan diners you need to adapt it.
Remove the pancetta from the soup and replace the beef broth with vegetable broth instead.
Also do not add any Parmesan cheese to finish the dish. Instead replace with a suitable vegan alternative.
This is a great soup for packing in extra vegetables and also leftovers in the fridge which need using up.
You can add some chopped courgettes, red bell peppers or eggplant. Use what you have in the refrigerator.
Don't have kale? Then add some spinach instead, fresh or frozen will both work in this filling soup. Finely shredded cabbage is also used traditionally.
Another great soup for using up leftovers is my Leftover Roast Beef & Wild Rice Soup.
Use any variety of bean to add extra protein to the soup. Cannellini or navy beans are a great choice.
If you're a fan of beans in soup my White Bean Soup with Leek & Potato is also packed full goodness and so easy to make.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese really finishes off this Italian Minestrone Soup. You can substitute it with Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano, both great tasting hard Italian cheeses.
Tips For Making the best Italian Tortellini Soup
- Don't throw away Parmesan rind. Keep it in the fridge as it's great for adding in extra flavor to soups and sauces. Try adding to this soup for an added savory umami taste.
- If making this soup up ahead of time leave out the pasta and kale only add when you are re-heating and ready to serve. This stops them overcooking.
How To Serve Spicy Minestrone Soup
It is traditional to serve Minestrone with grated parmesan on top, which gives a great hit of salty seasoning.
A quick squeeze of fresh lemon really brightens up the flavors in Minestrone soup. If you like it really spicy, hot sauce is also a great addition.
Italian tortellini soup is so filling I usually serve it on its own. However, you can add some focaccia or crusty bread if you want something to mop up those juices.
Can You Reheat and/or freeze Italian Tortellini Soup?
Italian tortellini soup is a perfect make ahead dish. Once cooked it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I recommend leaving the pasta and also the kale out of the soup and only add it into the hot soup when you are ready to serve. This stops the pasta overcooking on being reheated and keeps the kale looking vibrant.
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More Easy Soup Ideas
Spicy Minestrone Soup (with Tortellini)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 oz Diced Pancetta
- 1 Onion - finely chopped
- 2 ribs Celery - sliced
- 1 Carrots - medium, finely diced
- 2 cloves Garlic - finely grated
- ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes - add more if you like it very spicy
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 28 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 15 oz Canned White Beans - drained
- 4 cups Beef Stock
- 1 pinch Sugar
- 2 cups Fresh Tortellini - I used cheese stuffed, store bought
- 2 cups Kale - chopped and stemmed
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Grated Parmesan or Vegetarian Alternative - optional
- In a large heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven, sauté the bacon in the olive oil until soft, for around 10 minutes.
- Stir in the onion, celery and carrots. Reduce the heat to low and saute for around 10 more minutes, until soft.
- Stir in the garlic and tomato paste.
- Add the canned tomatoes, beans, stock and pinch of sugar. Season well with sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and turn to a simmer.
- Cook for around 20 minutes, to allow the flavors to come together.
- Add the tortellini and simmer for a further 5 minutes (or according to packet instructions, until the pasta is al dente).
- Add the kale to the pan and stir it into the hot broth until the kale has just wilted, but is still bright green.
- Taste and season again if necessary.
- Serve with grated parmesan cheese if using.