cheese tortellini soup with cannellini, kielbasa, + kale

by Amy on 24 January 2011

i love soup. i eat soup all year ’round – cold weather, hot weather, it doesn’t matter to me. give me soup + i’m a happy camper. i was browsing some of my friends’ blogs the other day + came across this soup recipe on bruce’s kitchen. bruce is a new england-based photographer who also happens to be a food lover, + i always enjoy reading his recipes. once i ran across this soup, i knew i had to make it that day.

i can’t stress how much i loved this soup, which was easy to make, hearty + delicious. i wound up doubling the crushed red pepper (i only recommend this for true spicy lovers), which brought out wonderful flavors in both the broth + the rest of the ingredients. if you’re not a kielbasa fan, you can easily substitute turkey kielbasa or a vegetarian version, or omit it entirely. i enjoy the flavor + texture of traditional kielbasa + think it worked perfectly in this soup.

seriously, i liked this soup so much that the day i made it, i had it for lunch, a snack, dinner, + a late-night snack. that’s how good it is. i hope y’all will try it soon + let me know what you think of it!

cheese tortellini soup with cannellini, kielbasa + kale

makes makes 6-8 servings, adapted from bon appetit


2 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces fully cooked smoked kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh fennel bulb
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
10 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth (i used homemade chicken stock instead)
4 cups chopped kale (1/2 bunch)
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini
1 cup grated asiago cheese or parmesan cheese


heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. add next 6 ingredients + sauté until vegetables are soft + kielbasa is brown, about 12 minutes. add broth + bring to boil. stir in kale + cannellini. reduce heat to low + simmer until kale is wilted, about 4 minutes.  add tortellini to soup. simmer until pasta is just tender but still firm to bite, about 5 minutes.
ladle soup into bowls. serve, passing cheese separately.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ErinsFoodFiles January 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

Oh yum! This does look like a great winter soup! And the Mr has been complaining that he’s bored of chicken chicken chicken every meal. What a great change up!

2 amy January 24, 2011 at 11:33 am

i soo understand – we eat chicken at least 3-4x/week, + while it’s tasty/healthy, sometimes i need a chicken break. this was definitely a nice change (+its super deliciousness was a nice perk, too).

3 sarah January 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

It is sooo cold here today and soup would be the perfect warm dinner! I think I’ll try making it tonight with turkey kielbasa. Thanks!

4 amy January 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

enjoy! you may have to add additional salt + pepper when using turkey kielbasa – just s+p to taste when you’re done with it! (i’ve never had turkey kielbasa, so i don’t know how it compares, s+p-wise, to traditional kielbasa). =)

5 Bruce Barone January 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Thank You AMY!!!

And it gets better from day-to-day.

6 amy January 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm

yes! the flavors definitely deepened + got more complex on the following days. thank you for the recipe idea!

7 Lauren January 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I have an almost identical recipe from my mom and LOVE this soup! Thanks for reminding me of it!

8 amy January 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm

you’re welcome! this chilly, drizzly weather in nashville is perfect for soup – maybe you should whip up your mom’s version one day this week!

9 Trisha January 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm

So hard to believe you were a vegetarian for so long – -with this fierce expression of love for the kielbasa! I love it!

10 amy January 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm

sometimes i can’t believe it myself. i’ve come a long way from those tofu + seitan-eating days. although i still like eating vegetarian, the meat side has definitely won me over!

11 Simply Life September 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm

you’re right, this does look amazing! I can see why you’d want to eat it throughout the whole day!

By the way, you mentioned wanting to make Italian Wedding Soup- here’s how I made it last year and we really loved the results!

12 amy September 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

i definitely want to make it again now that it’s getting cooler – it’s one of my favorite comfort food soups ever. =) thank you *so* much for the link to your italian wedding soup post – you know i’ve been wanting to make it, so i appreciate the recipe!

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