January is a tricky month, at least for those of us living in colder climates.  Most people are trying to eat healthier, but when you come in from the frigid cold after a busy day, you want something warm comforting.  Unfortunately so many of our fall back comfort foods are not the healthiest options.  Mac and cheese?  Pizza?  Mashed potatoes?  I could go on and on (and make myself quite hungry in the process), but instead I’ll offer you this soup.  For me, a major soup lover, soup is one of the greatest comfort foods.  While there are certainly some less-than-healthy soups that I enjoy, there are also many varieties with decent nutritional value.

This tortellini soup with beans and chard is on the “good for you” side of the soup spectrum.  It starts with a flavorful broth base enhanced with some .  Mix in white beans for added protein, chard for a nice dose of green veggies, and whole wheat tortellini to give it some substance, and you’ve got a lovely meal that is both comforting and nourishing.

I’ll add that this recipe makes quite a bit of soup and you’ll likely have leftovers.  If you are concerned about the pasta or beans becoming mushy, use less initially and add in separately cooked portions to the leftovers if you wish.  I personally don’t mind the texture of this dish left over so I don’t bother with the extra step.  We have enjoyed it from the freezer as well.


2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 quarts low-sodium broth (veggie or chicken)
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, or 2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 (15 oz.) can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked white beans)
2 tsp. herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 Parmesan rind (optional)
Salt and pepper
9 oz. fresh whole wheat cheese tortellini (or 6 oz. dried)
1 bunch Swiss chard (or other leafy green)
Freshly grated Parmesan, to finish


  • 01

    In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion to the pan and sauté until just tender, 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes, and sauté 1 minute more until fragrant.  Stir in the broth, tomatoes, beans, herbs and Parmesan rind.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and let simmer 30 minutes.

  • 02

    Stir in the tortellini and chard.  Continue to simmer until the tortellini is cooked through, according to the package directions.  (If using a firm green such as kale, add it a few minutes prior to the tortellini to be sure it is completely cooked.)  Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan.


  • Second post I’ve seen this week for tortellini soup- looks wonderful!

  • I bought dried tortellini a while ago and haven’t found the right recipe to use it until seeing this. Sounds like my kind of soup!

  • Sstiehm1

    Looks delicious! Even though I live in Florida, I pretend it is cold and eats lots of soup in January too :)

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This is such a lovely dish! I like the idea of using whole wheat tortellini too!

  • Anonymous

    This sounds so good! I am going to make it this weekend:) Thanks!!

  • Anonymous

    This sounds great and I love that you used some swiss chard and the beans. Between the beans and the tortellini I bet that this does a good job of filling you up on a cold day.

  • The Hungry Housewife

    This looks like a belly warming soup!!!!! Love it and healthy too!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    I actually have a Parmesan rind sitting in my cheese drawer that I never dreamed someone would suggest a use for. Great idea! I make your spinach and tortellini soup all the time and love it, so this is sure to be another fave.

  • CambriaW

    I love when I read the ingredients, and see that I only need 2-3 things to make one of your recipes! I’m definitely trying this. Great for the omnivores…great for the vegetarian :)

  • This looks sooo wonderful. I love love love soup, even though we don’t really ever get soup weather where I live.

  • AneleatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    I need to try chard. After the Mr’s disasterous run in with kale last week it might take some convincing but I can sneak it in. :-)

  • Sarah Bulmer

    Annie, this sounds really great. Thanks for providing a nice recipe, I’m def going to use it for those homemade family tortellinis in my freezer instead of the usual plain chicken soup base. I can’t wait to try it out.

  • I have had tortellini soup several times, but never with beans. LOVE this idea :)

  • Looks great, Annie. So glad you liked it! Soup is definitely one of my favorite comfort foods, too.

  • Caligo7

    I make your other tortellini soup recipe all the time and love love love. My children love it too…so I can’t wait to try this soon. I’ll be on maternity leave as of next week and this sounds like an amazing comforting warm meal to make at home.

  • I just bought some tortellini the other day and was debating what to do with it, this looks fantastic!

  • This looks delicious! I love trying new ways to get my kids to eat greens. :)

  • Stephanie

    It’s almost lunch time at work and I’m DREAMING of this soup!! We just survived the typical Canadian winter weather – big snow storm mixed with freezing rain – and this soup solves all those winter blues in one. Thanks Annie :)

  • oooo yum! I love the way you styled this photo :) It makes the soup look even better, if that’s at all possible! :)

  • Looks like the perfect soup for a cold windy and rainy day like today!

  • I tried a recipe similar to this, but it had a cream base {which you know was not healthy at all!!!}, but with the chard and white beans, this one might just be perfect!:)

  • Hofer4life

    Just made this and its very good. I must admit I did change it a little. I added a dozen golf ball sized meatballs halved , and instead of chard I used some broccolini I had in the fridge. Also people who like beans may want to use 2 cans as I found 1 not to “fill” the soup out the way I would like it.

  • January is a tough month for eating healthy! I am with you soup is always a good option in my book!

  • This reminds me of a soup I used to eat in my college’s dining commons. This was one of the few things that I actually loved there, and with a recipe in hand I can now recreate it. Thank you!

  • This looks wonderful! I love meals like this!

  • Carol

    Hi Annie, saw this today and made it for dinner, it was delicious! Never cooked chard before, it felt like rubber, but cooked down well. Hubby loves minestrone but said this was even better! Thanks for sharing with us.

  • I have made your recipe before and everyone loves it. This weekend it’s going with me to a super important lunch meeting to share.

    I have one modification to suggest- add a parmesean cheese rind to the soup during the last part of cooking- it gives more depth to the flavor and the cheese melts into the soup.

  • guest

    I’ve made a similar recipe to this, but I also add mushrooms to the soup for some extra veggies- the swiss chard gives the broth a nice buttery taste

  • Anonymous

    Just what I needed!

  • Anonymous

    A parmesan rind is included in this recipe, so not sure I understand your comment.

  • What a great soup! Soup is the perfect comforting meal on a cold winter day!

  • Alexis L Irvin

    this looks so fantastic! hearty and comforting for the freezing cold weather. seriously- nothing better then cozying up with a bowl of soup after a long day at work :)

  • Love the addition of the chard. Also, I’m in love with that plate! Love the rustic-ness of it against the chicness of the lions head bowl.

  • Lindsay London

    I made this last night, and I loved it. Soups are a staple around here, because you can so easily modify them! I changed your recipe a little; I seared a chicken thigh before I added the onion. I put it back in after I added the broth. I also used kale and frozen tortellini, both worked fine. Thanks for giving me another soup recipe to use regularly!

  • Anonymous

    My brother bought me that plate, and he’s pretty pumped every time it makes an appearance on the blog. I’ll be sure to tell him you like it too :)

  • Kat

    This is one of the best soups ever! I made this on a rainy day here in Northern California and it was perfect. This will definitely be one of my go-to recipes.

  • Yum – this looks like a soup my grandma used to make. I’ll have to try it out soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • Meredith

    Just got back from the grocery with ingredients for this soup–no Swiss chard in rural TN, so I’m subbing fresh spinach. So excited!

  • Mother Rimmy

    I have chard just waiting for this soup. Seattle has been snowed in and soups on the menu!

  • Great recipe! From another soup lover!

  • MorganH

    This was dinner and it was delicious. I used kale because there was no Swiss chard and it worked just fine. When I make it again (the husband requested that this recipe go in the recipe book), I’ll add a second can of beans because the bean-to-tortellini ratio seemed off. I made a crusty French bread to go with it for dipping. I can’t wait to have it leftover for lunch tomorrow!

  • Kcriera

    Thanks!! It’s delicious. I made 3 of your recipes just this weekend! I also made one recipe not from you blog, and even though it is a King Aurthur Flour recipe (cheddar sausage biscuits), they turned out very subpar :(. Thank you for giving everything a test run and always posting recipes which are great!

  • Jordan

    Delicious! I used frozen kale and it worked perfectly. This recipe will definitely become a part of our winter repertoire!

  • Stacey

    I made this soup this weekend and oh my goodness it was so delicious! Thanks for always posting such yummy recipes. :)

  • Rebecca John

    Hey Annie! I made this soup today, with a few tiny changes. Loved it! I blogged about it here if you’re interested: http://www.amuse-your-bouche.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/tortellini-soup-spring-greens-white-beans.html

    Thanks so much for the recipe! :)

  • Catherine

    I am making this right now to warm up after a day of skiing! Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes and tutorials. Whenever I’m in need of cooking inspiration or ideas, your blog is my go-to! I can’t tell many how many of your recipes I’ve tried. They never disappoint!