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Versatile Minestrone Soup with Tortellini

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When it comes to comfort food, a steaming bowl of soup often tops the list. We love the fact that our versatile Minestrone Soup with Tortellini is not only comforting but also incredibly nourishing. It’s a one-pot hearty, healthy meal we come back to again and again, probably because it is so adaptable. Minestrone is great for weeknight meals, but we also like to use it when we have overnight guests. It’s the perfect bookend for meals that are heavy — we serve it the night before a big holiday feast, or a day or two after.

Nourishing Goodness of Minestrone Soup

photo of large dutch oven with lid to side showcasing minestrone soup with tortellini, carrots, lima beans, swiss chard and purple potatoes

The beauty of our versatile Minestrone Soup with Tortellini is that it’s loaded with nourishing ingredients. In fact, the recipe we’ve been making and adapting for decades is trending recently due to the Blue Zone’s research/book and now TV show highlighting it as a nutritional powerhouse. Beans provide plant-based protein and fiber, keeping you full and satisfied. Fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, and greens contribute essential vitamins and minerals. We recently introduced tortellini to add a bit of indulgence. Topped with plenty of antioxidant rich extra virgin olive oil, this soup is incredible.

Versatile Simplicity

One-pot meals are a lifesaver for many, and this soup is no exception. It’s an easy, versatile, and time-saving choice. No need to cook various components separately – everything comes together in a single pot, creating a harmonious blend of flavors. Don’t feel bad for leaving an ingredient out if you are missing something. This recipe is meant to be resourceful and make use of items you have on hand. There’s no minestrone police that will show up at your door if you forget the fennel!

Minestrone & Tortellini Soup Seasonal Adaptations

What’s useful about this recipe is its adaptability. Depending on the season, you can modify the ingredients. Summer is all about zucchini, potatoes and green beans. In the fall, you can swap out zucchini for cabbage and add in interesting greens. When spring arrives, consider fresh favas and peas and asparagus and omitting the tomatoes for a more bright green soup. You can also use almost any bean you’d like in this soup. With endless possibilities it’s a great way to utilize what’s in season and what you have on hand. We are all about resourcefulness!

And speaking of resourcefulness, Parmesan rind is one of our go-to flavor bombs in this soup. We store used Parmesan rinds in our cheese drawer for things like this soup. By throwing the rind in while everything is cooking, the cheesy flavor infuses into the broth and imparts a unique depth of flavor.

Shortcut Savvy Soup

photo of head of cabbage, top chopped, a purple potato, and two glass jars full of chopped vegetables, one with leeks, carrots, celery and the other swiss chard and cabbage
morning meal prep of vegetables for minestrone and tortellini soup

Along with being resourceful, we try to use time to our advantage when we can think enough ahead. One idea to speed up meal time is to chop your vegetables the morning of or the night before. If all of your ingredients are prepped and ready to go, then cook time is all about dumping ingredients and waiting for them to cook. Prepping ahead of time also makes for less mess. The goal is to make a nourishing meal that fits into your busy schedule.

We all have those days when we need a shortcut without compromising quality. Feel free to use canned beans or frozen vegetables if you’re short on time. They work perfectly and reduce the cooking time significantly.

With its rich flavors and nourishing ingredients, it’s the perfect dish for busy weeknights, and a delightful meal for the entire family. Don’t hesitate to try this recipe and make it your own. Enjoy the nourishment and comfort it brings to your table! Check out our other versatile recipes for even more adaptable recipe ideas or our healthy recipes for more nutritious adventures.

photo of bowl of minestrone soup with tortellini topped with parmesan and olive oil

Minestrone Soup with Tortellini

This Minestrone Soup with Tortellini is comforting and adaptable. Optional Parmesan rind brings depth of flavor to the broth. Use seasonal veggies and your favorite tortellini filling. A nourishing one-pot wonder you can customize to your heart's content.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: comfort, healthy, vegetable, versatile
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: juiceofsevenlemons


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb diced
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes 14-28 ounces
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cup fresh or dried large lima beans soaked overnight if using dried
  • 1 Parmesan rind for added flavor
  • 1 fresh twig of rosemary
  • 3 twigs of fresh oregano
  • 1 cup potatoes diced (You can use red or Yukon gold potatoes, or for color purple – just blanch them first so broth doesn't turn colors)
  • 1 cup green cabbage savoy works well
  • 1 cup swiss chard chopped, can sub spinach, kale or another mild green
  • 1 cup tortellini cheese or spinach-filled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese grated, optional, for serving
  • extra virgin olive oil good quality for topping soup


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel, carrots, and celery and salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables soften.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, fresh or dried lima beans, Parmesan rind, rosemary, and oregano twigs. Bring the mixture to a boil. Taste broth and season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the beans start to become tender.
  • Add potatoes and continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes. At this point the potatoes should be fork tender and the beans should be finished cooking.
  • Remove and discard the Parmesan rind, rosemary, and oregano twigs.
  • Add the cabbage and tortellini and cook until they are tender, following the package instructions.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped greens and cook until wilted.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve the soup hot, optionally garnished with olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.


  • Seasonal swaps: Swap vegetables based on what’s in season. For example, use peas in spring or asian greens in the fall.
  • Bean versatility: Try different types of beans for variety. Fava, cannellini, kidney beans, or even chickpeas work well.
  • Customize the herbs: Fresh basil, parsley, or a touch of thyme can add unique flavors.
  • Tortellini types: Experiment with different tortellini fillings – cheese, spinach, or mushroom.
  • Veganize: For a vegan version, skip the cheese and even a vegetable tortellini.
  • Gluten-free or Whole wheat: Use gluten free or whole wheat tortellini for a healthier twist.

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