This Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup with Kale is a weeknight winner. It's made with crispy sausage, cheesy tortellini, and lots of fresh colorful veggies. A tiny splash of cream makes the soup extra luscious, without feeling overly heavy. The combination is cozy and satisfying—even non-vegetarians love it!
This tortellini soup comes together in 30 minutes and leftovers reheat well the next day. The recipe is flexible, so make it yours. Use your favorite plant-based sausage (we love Beyond Meat Mild Italian). If kale isn't your thing, swap it out for spinach instead. Next time you're craving a hot and cozy meal, make this Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup. You won't regret it!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Ready in 30 minutes: This quick soup means dinner's on the table in 30 minutes! Leftovers reheat quickly for easy weekday lunches and meals.
- One pot: Everything gets made in one big pot, so cleanup is a breeze.
- Cozy and hearty: This comforting soup is made with cheese-stuffed tortellini, plant-based sausage for protein, and lots of fresh veggies. The combination is a satisfying dinner that'll keep you satisfied.
- Creamy, but not heavy: This recipe uses only a small amount of cream, to achieve a creamy texture that isn't too heavy. Of course, you can always add more if you'd like.
- A crowd pleaser: You don't need to be vegetarian to love this hearty recipe. The crispy plant-based sausage provides a savory oomph that meat eaters can enjoy too.
Ingredients (and substitutes)
Here's what you need to make this Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup:
- Plant Based Sausage: Crispy sausage adds a hearty, savory element to this soup. It also provides a plant based source of protein. We especially love Beyond Meat Mild Italian in this recipe, but use your favorite.
- Tortellini: Use a fresh (refrigerated) or frozen tortellini in this soup. Do not use dried tortellini, which will absorb too much liquid when cooking.
- Whole Peeled Tomatoes: For this soup, try to use whole peeled tomatoes with basil for extra flavor. But, a regular can of tomatoes works too. In a pinch, you could substitute with crushed or diced tomatoes from a can.
- Cream: A splash of cream pairs well with the tomatoes in this soup. The recipe doesn't call for a lot of cream—so we do recommend using heavy (whipping) cream, because it's less likely to curdle. You could substitute half and half cream if you prefer; but avoid using low-fat milk, because it can separate. You can also just leave out the cream altogether. The soup won't be "creamy", but the tomato base is still delicious without it.
- Kale: A bunch of kale gives some green veggie goodness to this soup. You could use lacinato (dino) kale instead of curly kale. Or, if you don't like kale, use spinach instead.
How to make (step-by-step photos)
This one pot soup is easy to make, and cleanup is a breeze! Here's how to make this Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup with Kale:
Frequently asked questions
Fresh (refrigerated) tortellini usually takes 2 to 4 minutes to cook. Frozen tortellini might take a minute or two longer, about 3 to 5 minutes total. Dried tortellini often takes 10+ minutes to cook.
Fresh tortellini is usually sold in refrigerated section of the grocery store—often located near the specialty pastas/noodles, sauces, and refrigerated prepared meals. Dried tortellini is usually found with the dried pastas.
Once tortellini is cooked, it is best not to freeze it. But, you can freeze the soup before adding the tortellini. Then, add the tortellini fresh when you reheat the soup.
This Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup is hearty enough to be served as a main for dinner or lunch. But, it you could also serve it with a salad—like this Pea Pesto Spinach Salad—or crusty bread on the side.
Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb plant-based sausages (see note 1)
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 oz/794 g) can whole peeled tomatoes (with basil, see note 2)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 12.3 oz cheese tortellini (refrigerated or frozen, not dried)
- 1 bunch kale, chopped (about 5 cups)
- ⅓ cup whipping cream (more if desired, see note 3)
- Grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish, optional)
- Brown sausage: Warm olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Crumble in the sausage and add onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until sausage is golden brown and crispy, 10 to 12 minutes (see note 4).
- Add veggies, seasoning: Add carrots, celery, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Boil: Pour in tomatoes and vegetable stock. Stir to combine. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook until al dente, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Finish: Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in kale and cream. Cook until the kale has softened and tortellini is tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan, if using.
- Sausages: Use your favorite plant based or regular sausage. We love using Beyond Meat Mild Italian sausages in this recipe.
- Canned Tomatoes: Use whole peeled tomatoes with basil if you can (otherwise, without basil is fine). In a pinch, substitute with crushed or diced tomatoes.
- Cream: We recommend whipping cream (30-36%), but you can substitute heavy cream or half-and-half cream if you prefer. We do not recommend substituting low-fat milk, as it curdles more easily. You can leave the cream out for a cream-less tortellini soup.
- Technique tip: If the sausage is starting to stick to the pot, reduce the heat. We prefer to stir the plant based sausages infrequently, to allow the sides to brown—but of course, stir often enough so that it doesn't stick to the pot!
- Vegan option: Use vegan tortellini and substitute a plain, unsweetened dairy-free creamer or barista-style non-dairy milk instead of the cream.
- Storage tips: Transfer extra soup to a resealable container and refrigerate. We do not recommend freezing this soup once the tortellini is added. You could freeze this soup before adding the tortellini—then add the tortellini, kale, and cream when the soup is being reheated for serving.