Instant Pot Tomato and Tortellini Soup
Happy Tuesday Food Lifers! The leaves are falling, the sun is setting early, and my boots and sweaters are out of the back of my closet.
Enter: soup season! I'm kicking it off with a new recipe - Instant Pot tomato and tortellini soup. Although this recipe is written for the Instant Pot, you could easily adapt it for the stovetop. This recipe does use chicken as a protein source, but if you're a vegetarian or vegan, I recommend adding a can of white beans instead.
In this Instant Pot tomato and tortellini soup, you’ll use tomato passata a.k.a strained tomatoes. Tomato passata is like a liquid tomato puree, and is great for whipping up soups and sauces. It’s smoother than diced tomatoes, more liquid-y than tomato paste, but still packs that zippy, hearty, tomato-y flavour. If you can’t find tomato passata at your grocery store (look for it in a glass bottle with the pasta sauce), I recommend using diced tomatoes instead. If you want a smooth texture, give your diced tomatoes a wizz through your food processor before adding them to the soup. But tomato pieces give the soup more texture, so skipping this step is completely optional.
I made this Instant Pot tomato and tortellini soup on a chilly weeknight, and it was a warm and comforting dinner all week long. The soup has layers of flavour, but is also hearty enough to fill me up. This soup freezes well, just leave the tortellini out, and add it when you reheat it.
What soups are you cooking these days? Let me know if you are trying any Food Life recipes! For more soup recipes, check out my collection here.
Instant Pot Tomato & Tortellini Soup
1 tablespoon oil with high smoke point, such as canola or grapeseed
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or you can substitute 1 can of white beans, just skip the browning step)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups no sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 bottle (700 mL) tomato passata (aka strained tomatoes, may also substitute 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 to 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 bay leaf
Optional: 1 parmesan rind
1 package (350 g) fresh, pre-made, cheese-filled tortellini (like Olivieri brand)
In your Instant Pot on the “Saute” function, heat oil over medium heat.
Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
Brown the chicken in your Instant Pot on both sides until nice and golden. This should take about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the Instant Pot, and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes . Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chicken broth and stir, scraping up any brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato passata, spices, herbs, and parmesan rind (if using). Add the chicken and any juices that came off of it back to the pot.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot and switch it to the “Pressure Cook” or “Ultra” function. Cook under high pressure for 8 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
For the stovetop, simmer on low, partially covered, for 30 minutes, or longer if you can stand it, adding water if the soup reduces too much.
Remove the chicken to a plate, and shred with two forks.
Switch the Instant Pot back to the “Saute” function and bring the stock back up to a simmer. Taste the soup and adjust for seasoning. Add the tortellini, and cook as per package directions (usually 3-5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the shredded chicken back to the soup.
Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated parmesan. Pairs well with salad and some toasty French bread!
Leftovers tip: If you’re planning to have some leftovers, I recommend NOT adding all of the tortellini. Add only as much as you need, then scoop it all out and eat it fresh. The next day, heat up your soup on the stove, and add the uncooked tortellini and cook. That way, you don’t end up with soggy tortellini, which no one likes.