{vegetarian} Basil Tortellini Soup

This recipe is adapted from a recipe sent to me by my grandma. The original recipe directions did not call for pureeing or blending of any of the ingredients. But both my dad and I agree that a thicker, creamier soup is better than a broth soup any day. This soup was perfect for this rainy March Portland day.


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
  • 4 c. vegetable broth (chicken broth is fine too); keep extra broth in hand in case you need to thin the soup out
  • 1 10-oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 10-oz package refrigerated pesto tortellini
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini or kidney beans, rinsed, drained and ground into a smooth paste
  • 1 c. dried cannellini beans
  • 1 28-oz can plum tomatoes, whole peeled
  • 16 oz sugar-plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 8-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 c. shredded fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
  • shredded parmesan cheese for garnish
  • basil pesto sauce for garnish


  1. Start preparing the beans the day before you want to cook your soup. Soak the beans overnight. Drain and rinse the beans and put into a medium-sized saucepan. Add four cups of water and a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about one or two hours. Drain and rinse beans with cold water, reserve one cup of beans.
  2. In a large soup pot heat broth, canned cannellini beans, cooked cannelini beans (all but one cup) and canned tomatoes and their juices and half the sugar-plum tomatoes over high heat until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender to purée right in the pot.
  3. Return soup to the pot and add remaining sugar-plum tomatoes, 1 cup cooked cannellini beans, salt and pepper and heat through.
  4. Just prior to eating, bring soup to a boil. Add tortellini and basil and cook until tortellini is tender, about 6 minutes.
  5. Serve garnished with additional basil pesto and shredded parmesan cheese.

I recommend using eight to 10 cups of chicken broth because I only used eight and the soup turned out very thick. It almost seemed like a marinara sauce. To thin it out I added an additional quart of chicken broth, which seemed to thin the soup out way too much for both my dad’s and my liking.

My dad loooooooved this soup. It’s hearty and (mostly) healthy and goes great with some crusty bread. (We munched on sourdough boule bread from Trader Joe’s.)

(Per my dad:) Recipe rating: 

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