Bear with me for just a minute, the lead-in for this soup requires a little background story. We have a family friend, Stephen, who’s also my daughter’s father in-law, who is known to regularly create his own fabulous recipes. Ingredients get incorporated effortlessly resulting in a meal that has people talking, raving and (lucky for me) sharing. All the time. My daughter Jackie is always telling me “Stephen made the best ____”. So when we were at Stephen and Victoria’s house a few months ago, the family starts telling me about his amazing Beef Tortellini Soup. After vying for the recipe I was surprised how simple the ingredient list is, like I think if something’s really good it must be complicated? Let me tell you, Beef Tortellini Soup is fabulous and even sharing it with you right now has me craving it again- and I’ve already made it several times since getting the recipe.
The genius in this Beef Tortellini soup is the combination of two types of diced tomatoes, a can of regular and one of tomatoes with green chilies, pureed together just a little and then simmered with beef broth. The flavor of these three ingredients alone is so satisfying and not what you’re used to. For the tomatoes with diced green chilies, I used RoTel brand, Original heat style. I’ve made the soup using the Mild version and I think it needs the heat from the Original.
The add-ins can be customized to your liking, but we loved it with fresh French-style green beans and cheese tortellini. Change it up a bit with ravioli or switch out the beans for sweet corn if you like. Fresh basil and a touch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes add a brightness to the soup. Stephen said he’s used dried or fresh tortellini with equal success. Cook’s note: I list the amount of tortellini to add as 1 1/2 cups and that’s just my preference because I like more broth. Add more or less as you like.
Beef Tortellini Soup is ready in only 20 minutes and I predict it’ll become one of your family’s favorite meals. Doesn’t get much better than that. Served with a nice chunky bread, this is one hearty, delicious soup. I find it’s best eaten the day it’s prepared, but you won’t have leftovers anyway.
- 8 to10 cups beef broth, depending on how brothy you like your soup (I used 10 cups)
- 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 10-oz can RoTel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, Original
- 1 /12 cups dry cheese tortellini (Barilla in the blue box is great)
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (French are my favorite)
- Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste
- Fresh Parmesan cheese for garnish, to taste
- In a blender or food processor, combine the diced tomatoes and RoTel diced tomatoes, pulse about 4 times. You don't want the tomatoes completely smooth, a little chunky is great.
- In a medium dutch oven or stock pot, bring the beef broth to a low boil. Add the pureed tomatoes and boil again.
- Add the tortellini, basil, green beans and red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Simmer until tortellini is ready, about 10 minutes.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese grated on top.
- I recommend eating this soup the same day it's prepared. Leftovers taste delicious but the tortellini tends to get big and overly soft the next day.
- Optional variations: Tortellini can be substituted for any favorite pasta, ravioli is nice. Beans can be substituted for fresh or frozen corn.
- Cook's note: I add 1½ cups tortellini because I like the soup to have more broth. You can add more tortellini as you like. And if you add more tortellini, you can also increase the amount of broth to accommodate the increase in pasta. I would taste before serving to test if you need more basil as well. Also, I like the dried version of tortellini, which absorbs more of the liquid. If you use fresh tortellini, add it more towards the end of simmering, whatever the packaged directions dictate.
- Stephen's recommendation for beef broth: Stephen swears by using a beef base rather than store bought broth. Minor's brand is excellent with no artificial ingredients.