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Chicken Pesto Tortellini Soup for a Soup Off

I love soup. L-O-V-E it. It's so comforting to have a big old pot of soup simmering away on the stove. It warms the home and smells so good, too. My mom made soup a lot. Not only because it's a good way to stretch your food budget, but it's a great way to get a healthy hot meal to your family with little effort. Pair it with a sandwich, crusty bread, or even a nice salad--and you've got a delicious lunch or dinner. And leftovers the next day? YUM.

When I heard the Danny at Gourmet Gastronomer was having a Soup-Off to follow up his Mac and Cheese-Off, I knew I'd enter that one, too.

This soup is a favorite. I've made it twice already and we love it! The second time, I added a splash of red wine and a little pesto to the simmering soup--my husband liked it better the first time, and preferred adding a dollop of pesto to his own bowl. Picky, can choose to add those or not, it's up to you.

For the tortellini, I used dry ones filled with pesto from Trader Joe's. I know Barilla has some, too. If you can't find dried ones, go ahead and use the fresh ones like Buitoni. Just add them close to the end of cooking, and remember they only need a few minutes to cook.

Chicken Pesto Tortellini Soup

1-2 TBSP olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 small-ish leeks, rinsed and sliced across, not into long strips
1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups chicken broth
14 oz can chickpeas, undrained
2 boneless chicken breasts, sliced thinly
2 small zucchini, diced
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
3 cups dried tortellini (fresh is fine, but keep in mind those take less time to cook)
fresh cracked black pepper
pesto for dolloping individual servings
fresh shaved Parmesan

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, leek, garlic and Italian seasoning, and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, broth, and chickpeas.
Bring to a boil and cover, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Add the chicken, zucchini, and peas, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 more minutes.
Stir in the tortellini and keep the soup at a low to medium boil for the required pasta cooking time, or until al dente.
Taste first, then season with pepper--I don't think you'll need salt, but add it if you need to. (Keep in mind--you'll be adding pesto and Parmesan to each serving.)
Top each serving with a dollop of pesto and some fresh shaved Parmesan.

To print this recipe, click here!



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Reader Comments (34)


February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

This soup looks really yummy. Great combination of ingredients!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter5 Star Foodie

I could go for a bowl of that right now!!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSpryte

What a great looking soup Elle! I love the pesto all through it!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJudy@nofearentertaining

Yum, yum!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertoontz

Yum! I buy Trader Joe's tortellini too.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Hi! Great looking soup!!!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKatie's blog

Yum! I love adding a little pesto on top of soup but with pesto in the tortilini it sounds even better.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

What a delicious photo and yummy, yummy looking soup.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter- bcgw.

That looks fantastic! I love tortellini.

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob

That sounds awesome! Pesto AND tortellini? Yes please!

February 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranna

That looks really good....I am sitting here thinking about what to make for dinner tonight and I think I just figured it out!! Thanks :-)

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachael

looks like everyone is in a soup mood, yours looks delicious!

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstephchows

That looks delicious!!!

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlettergirl

That soup looks so good. I love soups, too! In Mexico we eat them all year long, that's a way to stretch the budget, like you said. I better check out the event :)

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBen

So gorgeous!

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkat

I like your blog ! wonderful receipes !

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBouchra

pesto. in soup. i like it, i love it, i want some (more) of it. :)

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

Lenny LOVES Tortellini - I will have to make this for him. ;) sounds delicious!

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChez US

Good luck with the competition! This looks like the clear winner to me! Yum! I think I will put pesto in the soup, and also on top. I just can't get enough of the stuff. I would smear it on my face as a mask if it wouldn't scare my husband :)

February 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteremily

Sounds really yummy but you never list the onion or the leeks in the list of ingredients.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRACHELbean

Soup off? I love it. This looks really yummy!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRecipeGirl

Soup is my favorite comfort food. It makes me want to curl up with a blanket and book. :) This looks great!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

What a delicious sounding soup!

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShari@Whisk: a food blog

Pesto and just about anything works for me, and this looks like a great combo (plus, who doesn't love soup on a cold night?). For a fast dinner, I roast broccoli, add it to fusilli, to which I pour in lots of pesto, squeeze in a lot of lemon and sprinkle with a lot of Parmesan.

I'm with you, I LOVE soup! And you're right, a fabulous way to stretch the budget!

I'm stopping by everyone on my blogroll to let them know that I've started a new blog event called Thrifty Thursdays if you are interested in blogging along! :)

February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

A soup off! I love it! This recipe is a sure winner.

February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandie

So many of my favorite flavors in here - looks great!

February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

Made some chicken noodle soup last week and had tortellini in it instead of noodles. Oh so much better.

The pesto touch sounds even better to me.

Will winter end soon?

February 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEAT!

This soup looks so fab! MMM...

February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

Apart from the Vietnames Pho Bo, I am not really a big soup fan but I have to say that of late I have been warming up to more soups :)

February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

I can't wait to make this soup! Nice & hearty, just the way I like it :)

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Making this for dinner tonight! How many servings does this recipe make? I guess I'll find out tonight.

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKirsten

Sorry about that, Kirsten--I'd say about 6-8 servings.

February 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterElle

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