kale tortellini soup

December 16, 2011

Are you a soup person? If you’ve been coming here a while then you’ll know that I am.

They’re hard to mess up for a start, that always helps. But I also love that they are one of the most relaxing things to make. As a bit of a stress-head in the kitchen, it’s nice for me to make something with a slow rhythm to it.

This soup is pretty quick and easy to make but it’s got soul and it’s got rhythm. Put on a record or the radio and get that oil warming. Saute some garlic and red chili flakes as you tap your foot; watch some stock and chopped tomatoes simmer while you sing out of tune; stir in tortellini, and lovely detoxifying kale. Add pesto, dance around a bit, season, and serve.

It’s a rustic, bold and spicy base filled with mouthfuls of kale, tomato, and carb-y, cheesy pasta. What could be better on a freezing December day?

Kale Tortellini Soup
from Running with Tweezers


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried red chili flakes
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (or 3 cups vegetable stock and 2 cups water)
  • 14 ounces chopped tomatoes with their liquid
  • 3/4 -to a whole bunch of kale, roughly chopped and tough stems removed
  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen cheese tortellini (Feel free to use normal pasta instead of tortellini if you like, or maybe beans instead.)
  • 1 tbsp good quality pesto
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute until soft but not browned – 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the dried red chili and saute for another minute.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock (and/or water) and chopped tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tortellini and cook until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook until the leaves are wilted and the ribs are tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the pesto, taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

emily (a nutritionist eats) December 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

This looks delicious! I posted a white bean & kale soup today -mine is all veggies, but that pasta + cheese addition look sooooo good! :)


Angharad December 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

I saw that, Emily! Nice timing :)
The addition of cheesy pasta did just push it over the edge into awesome territory!


Deanna December 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

My ex’s mom used to make chicken noodle soup with pesto or cheese tortellini instead of plain noodles. It was so good. I usually make a giant batch of soup once a week then live off of it for lunch for the rest of the week. This looks like a delicious option.


holly December 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

cooking + dancing + listening to music = the best.

and this soup looks so lovely too! i could use more kale in my life :)


Rachel December 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm

This was delicious! I couldn’t find any sauce-free frozen pasta, so ended up using sweet potato gnocchi. It was great! It had a little bit of a butter-sage sauce, which only added to the flavor. The package was 14 oz, so I added some extra liquid (one more can of tomatoes and a little more water) and it turned out perfect. Will definitely be making this again!


Angharad December 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm

You’re an industrious lady, Rachel! Those sound like excellent adaptions – sweet potato gnocchi sounds lovely! Glad you liked it as much as I did.


Bev October 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Made this soup the other day. I’ve been trying to find a use for kale, and thought this sounded good. It was, except wayyyyyyyyyyyy too spicy! Did it really call for one tablespoon of red pepper flakes, or was it supposed to be one teaspoon? I am going to make this again, but without so much heat!

Maybe my red pepper flakes were extra hot, because usually it can’t be too hot for my husband, but this was.


Angharad October 4, 2013 at 8:15 am

Hi Bev,
It’s definitely got a kick to it! The recipe does read correctly though. I always use a tablespoon of red pepper flakes and really enjoy the heat that it brings but certainly use less if it’s too spicy for your taste. If I’m unsure with the level of seasoning in a recipe I tend to err on the side of caution and add a little at a time so I’d recommend starting with a teaspoon and tasting as you go to see if you’d like to add more heat.


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