This easy tomato soup recipe is ready in under half an hour with a few pantry staples, cheese tortellini, and some fresh basil. Vegetarian.
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This *might* be the easiest soup recipe of all time. All you need: a handful of fridge and pantry staples, an immersion blender, and 20ish minutes.
We start with a simple, creamy tomato soup: garlic, onion, crushed tomatoes, basil, stock, and cream. This lickety-split soup is good on its own, but a few handfuls of fresh tortellini take it to a whooooole new level (and helps you stretch it a bit further!)
Add spinach, sausage, and more
This soup is one of our favorite blank canvas recipes: it's the perfect flavorful base to use with your favorite veggies, proteins, and mix-ins.
Some of our favorite additions:
- Fresh chopped spinach
- Fresh chopped kale
- Shredded chicken
- Italian sausage
- Butter Beans (or any white beans!)
- Roasted red peppers (pro tip: add a few pieces of roasted red pepper when you blend the soup!)
Substitutions to help you make this soup your own
This recipe is ultra-forgiving, which means it's easy to modify if you're missing an ingredient. A few tips to help you adapt this recipe on the fly:
- The cream and stock in this recipe are more or less interchangeable: Swap either ingredient for more of the other, or sub chicken or turkey stock, half and half, or milk for some of the liquid. You can use plain water in place of the stock in a pinch - we just recommend you let it simmer an extra 10-15 minutes if you go this route to help the soup develop more flavor. Lighten it up and add a punch of flavor by swapping Greek yogurt for the heavy cream - just add the yogurt before you blend the soup since it sometimes likes to separate!
- Use any canned tomatoes you like. We used crushed tomatoes here, but this soup also works with tomato sauce, whole canned tomatoes, or diced canned tomatoes. Use what you have on hand! If you have fresh tomatoes and a bit of extra time, we recommend trying our favorite vegan roasted tomato soup (you can add tortellini and basil to that one too!)
- Mix and match your pasta shapes. Fresh ravioli is great here. You can also use your favorite dried pasta (we like cavatappi, macaroni, ditalini, or other small shapes in this soup). If you use dry pasta, note that you'll either have to extend the cooking time to let the pasta cook in the soup OR you'll need to cook the pasta separately and add it to the soup once it's done.
Can I freeze this tortellini tomato soup?
We recommend freezing this soup without the tortellini - cooked pasta can take on a weird texture after it's frozen and defrosted.
To freeze, make this soup as directed without the pasta, let it cool completely, then store in airtight containers in the freezer for 3-4 months. (You can store it longer, but we find the flavor is best in the first few months!)
To reheat, defrost a container of soup overnight in the fridge. Transfer the soup to a large saucepan, bring to a simmer, then add and cook the pasta as directed.
Video: How to make Creamy tomato tortellini soup
An easy, creamy tortellini tomato soup ready in under 30 minutes.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves (about 3 ounces), plus extra for garnish
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- 9 ounces cheese tortellini
- ½ cup heavy cream
- In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic. Stir to combine and cook 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add salt, pepper, and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring mixture to a low simmer.
- Turn off the heat. Add basil leaves and vegetable stock.
- Use an immersion blender to carefully purée soup until smooth.
- Turn the heat back to medium and add tortellini. Stir to combine and simmer an additional few minutes until tortellini is cooked through.
- Add heavy cream and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Garnish with fresh basil (optional) and serve immediately.
No immersion blender? Carefully transfer soup to a blender (you may need to do this in batches) and blend until smooth. Always remove the blender cap when blending hot foods to let steam escape and avoid a soup explosion - take the cap off and use a tea towel to cover the opening and prevent spills while the blender gets going. Always use caution when blending hot liquids.
Exact cook time will vary based on your brand of tortellini. In our testing, frozen tortellini tends to cook the quickest, while fresh (refrigerated, non-frozen) and shelf-stable varieties take an extra few minutes. If you'd like more control over the pasta as it cooks, you can cook it separately according to package directions and add it to the soup once it's cooked. Keep in mind that the tortellini will continue to cook in the hot soup, so you may want to turn the heat off the soup a few minutes before they're done. When in doubt, taste-test to gauge doneness!
Additions and Mix-Ins. Add chopped spinach or kale, shredded chicken, Italian sausage, butter beans, or roasted red peppers to this soup to make it a bit heartier and stretch it further.
Substitutions. Use gnocchi, ravioli, or your favorite dry pasta in place of the tortellini if you like (you may need to adjust the cook time - just keep an eye on it!) This soup is also great on its own or with zucchini noodles in place of the pasta. Use 3 Tablespoons dried basil in place of the fresh basil if you like. We used crushed tomatoes here, but you can use tomato sauce, whole or diced tomatoes. If you'd like to make this soup with fresh tomatoes, we recommend trying our vegan roasted tomato soup (make it as directed, then add pasta and basil!)
Adjust the cream and stock in this recipe. Sub chicken or turkey stock, half and half, or milk for all or some of the liquid here if you prefer. If you're in a bind, you can use plain water in place of stock, but we recommend letting the soup simmer at least an extra 15 minutes to develop flavor. Use a cup of Greek yogurt in place of the cream if you like - just add it before you blend so it doesn't separate! The brand and type of tomatoes you use may impact the consistency of your soup - if it's too thick, add an extra splash of stock or cream to thin it out. Too thin? Simmer it for 10-20 minutes or stir in a cornstarch slurry to thicken.
To freeze, leave out the the pasta. Make the soup as directed without tortellini, let cool completely, and freeze in airtight containers for 3-4 months. To reheat, defrost in the fridge overnight then bring to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add and cook pasta as directed and serve.
Soup tasting flat? It probably needs salt! Salt is especially important in tomato-based dishes to help the tomato flavor pop. Add a pinch of kosher salt at a time, stir, taste, and add more salt as necessary. A teaspoon of lemon juice, sugar, or brown sugar can also help elevate the flavor of a tomato soup if your canned tomatoes aren't as flavorful as you'd like.
The exact color of your soup will vary depending on the tomatoes you use - don't worry if it's a little bit lighter or darker than the pictures above! We ended soup with a bunch of different shades of soup during our testing.
Strict vegetarians should look for tortellini made with cheese that does not contain rennet.
Keywords: weeknight, vegetarian