With the holidays behind us, I am craving healthier, lighter fare. It’s time to balance out all that baking from over the last few months! And yet, the weather is colder, and I am absolutely still in the mood for comforting meals.
I’ve always been a fan of cheese tortellini, but on it’s own it is a little too heavy for me. Which leads us to this soup. Filled with veggies like red bell pepper and kale, some protein from kidney beans, and plenty of broth, this is the perfect way for me to get my fix. It’s filling and studded with that cheesy pasta goodness, yet at the same time won’t leave you totally weighed down. I like to finish the soup off with a quick sprinkle of cheese and serve it with some crusty bread on the side. Nice and simple.
Another bonus? It is fairly adaptable to what you have on hand. You could use any bean of choice instead of the kidney beans. Or, any colored bell pepper (or even carrots instead). Finally, you could also use a different dark leafy green – I think both spinach and swiss chard would make fantastic options.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 about 10-ounce package fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
- 1 about 9-ounce bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
- Shredded mozzarella or parmesan for serving (optional)
- Add the olive oil to a large stockpot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. When hot, add in the onion and pepper and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add in the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, broth, lemon juice, salt, red pepper flakes, basil and parsley. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the tortellini and the kale and continue to simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the tortellini is tender.
- Remove from the heat. Season with additional salt and red pepper flakes as needed. Divide into bowls and garnish with cheese, if desired.