Creamy Tortellini Soup with Sausage and Spinach - ReCiPes

Creamy Tortellini Soup with Sausage and Spinach

Creamy sausage tortellini soup in a white bowl with sausage, tortellini and carrots visible in the bowl. The table is covered in a white tablecloth and next to the bowl are two gold spoons. A second bowl of soup and a wooden cutting board are in partial view in the background.

Boy, oh boy, do I love tortellini. Little pasta dumplings filled with cheese? Count me in.

This easy tortellini soup has been on heavy rotation in my kitchen lately. The list of ingredients is short, which translates into a dinner that doesn’t take a lot of brainpower to pull together (a weeknight win!); everyone in my particular household loves it unconditionally (another win!); and it makes darn good leftovers (WIN WIN WIN!).

AN EASY DINNER FROM THE PANTRY

This recipe is a tomato-free riff on our awesome Tomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage. My husband can’t tolerate tomatoes anymore (sob!), but I can’t live without tortellini soup in my life, so I adapted the recipe to suit our needs.

This recipe uses four of my favorite pantry and freezer ingredients:

  • Mild Italian Sausage: I buy this when I see it on sale and keep it stocked in my freezer. The links thaw really quickly in either the fridge (if you remember to take them out of the freezer ahead of time) or in a bowl of warm water (if you didn’t). If you opt for the warm-bowl method, use the links as soon as they are thawed to avoid any food safety concerns; don’t forget about them!
  • Frozen Tortellini: I keep a bag of cheese tortellini in my freezer at all times for dinner emergencies. Also, look for fresh tortellini when it’s on sale, and freeze it for later.
  • Chicken Stock: Use homemade or store-bought chicken stock or broth for this recipe. Our favorite brand of store-bought chicken broth is Kitchen Basics.
  • Cannellini Beans: These beans are my secret to a creamy soup without adding a ton of cream. Bonus: They give the soup an extra protein boost!

The fresh ingredients—onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and spinach—are ones that I cook with a lot and typically have on hand. If you don’t happen to have one of them, you can absolutely skip or substitute it—see my suggestions below!

A blue dutch oven is filled with the best sausage tortellini soup and sits on a white tablecloth.

SAVE TIME WITH PRE-CHOPPED VEGGIES

I will admit that chopping mushrooms is one of my least favorite prep tasks, and it can also be really time consuming, so I fully endorse purchasing pre-sliced or chopped mushrooms. These mushrooms tend to dry out faster in the package than whole mushrooms, so be sure to pick packages where the edges of the mushroom slices still look crisp, and the whites are still very white. Use pre-sliced or chopped mushrooms within a few days.

Ditto for pre-chopped carrots and other ingredients—take advantage of these prepared ingredients if it makes sense for you.

CREAMY SOUP WITHOUT ALL THE CREAM!

I learned this trick from Summer’s recipe for Creamy Chicken Soup. She blends a can of drained cannellini beans with some water and a splash of cider vinegar (which helps brighten flavors), and then stirs this into the soup along with a small amount of heavy cream (which adds richness, though you can skip it if you want).

This bean mixture adds body and creaminess to soups without as much cream. Cannellini beans have such a mild, sweet flavor that you can barely taste them in the finished soup.

I’ve adopted this method in a lot of my creamy soups and love it!

view of a bowl of the best creamy tortellini soup with sausage and spinach. The pasta, carrots, spinach and broth are visible. To the right are two golden spoons. Behind the spoons is a second bowl of soup. To the left is a wooden cutting board with half of a french roll.

SUGGESTIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Vegetarian Tortellini Soup: Skip the sausage and double up on the mushrooms!
  • Swap the Sausage: Not a fan of Italian sausage? You could absolutely swap in ground beef, chopped chicken sausage, shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken to the rescue!), or any other meat of your choice.
  • Swap the Veggies: If you don’t have or don’t like one of the veggies, feel free to swap in your favorites. I sometimes leave out the mushrooms and add more carrots, or swap out the carrots for diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Celery also makes a great addition.
  • Swap the Tortellini: I like cheese tortellini in this soup, but you could absolutely use any favorite kind of tortellini. You could even skip the tortellini and go with a plain pasta instead. Farfalle makes a fun pasta shape for this soup!

STORING AND FREEZING TORTELLINI SOUP

This soup will keep in the refrigerator for about five days and reheats well. The tortellini do tend to become pretty soft, but everything tastes so good that I don’t mind. If this bothers you, cook and store your tortellini separately and add it to each individual bowl.

If you’d like to freeze any portion of the soup, cook the tortellini separately and freeze the soup without it. When ready to serve, cook more tortellini in boiling water and add to each bowl when serving.

Best homemade creamy tortellini soup in a white bowl on a table with a white tablecloth. A blue dutch oven with soup and spoon inside is behind the bowl.

LOVE SOUPS WITH PASTA? TRY THESE RECIPES

  • Tomato Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage
  • Pasta e Fagioli
  • Italian Wedding Soup
  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Turkey Meatball Soup with Spinach and Orzo

Creamy Tortellini Soup with Sausage and Spinach Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage, removed from casings if purchased in links
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, kale, chard, or other green (torn into the size of baby spinach, if necessary)
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk

Method

1 Cook the sausage: Warm a teaspoon of oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, and add the sausage. Cook the sausage until completely browned, breaking it up into crumbles as it cooks. When browned, remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Dutch oven with crumbled sausage browning and a wooden spoon stirring it.

2 Cook the vegetables: Drain all but a tablespoon of fat from the pan (add more oil if you don’t have quite a tablespoon). Add the onions and a half teaspoon of salt, and cook until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and another half teaspoon of salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released all their moisture and are cooked through, another 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until they look softened around the edges, another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.

Dutch oven with sliced carrots and onions cooking in a dutch oven on the stove.

3 Bring the soup to a simmer and add the tortellini: Pour a cup of chicken stock into the pot and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Return the sausage to the pot and add the remaining stock. Bring to a rapid simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to a medium.

Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions.

Dutch oven with the best tortellini soup simmering on the stove. Tortellini and broth visible in the pot.

4 Puree the beans: In a medium sized bowl, add the drained beans, 1/2 cup water, and apple cider vinegar. Puree using an immersion blender (or you can do this in a food processor or countertop blender).

5 Finish the soup: When the tortellini is done, add the greens and stir until wilted. Stir in the pureed beans and heavy cream (or milk). Taste and add salt, pepper, or another splash of cider vinegar as needed to perk up the flavors. Serve.

Dutch oven with the best tortellini soup simmering on the stove. Spinach is on top of the tortellini before being mixed into the soup.

LEFTOVERS! This leftover soup will keep for about 5 days in the fridge and is best reheated gently over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. The tortellini will gradually soften, the longer the leftovers sit.

If you’d like to freeze any portion of the soup, cook the tortellini separately and freeze the soup without it. When ready to serve, cook more tortellini in boiling water and add to each bowl when serving.

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