Slow-Cooker (or not) Vegetable Tortellini Soup
with chard / pinto beans
We love using the slow cooker to cook dried beans which gives them a creamy texture in this vegetable and tortellini soup that was the last meal we featured in 2015.
Smarts: If not making this with the slow cooker, use canned beans instead of dried to keep things fast and easy.
- Carrots - 1/2 lb, peeled and chopped
- Onions, medium - 1, diced
- Celery - 2 ribs, diced
- Garlic - 3 cloves, diced
- Cheese, Parmesan - 2 oz, grated, rind reserved
- Chard, any variety - 1 bunch, leaves and stems chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Italian seasonings - 2 tsp
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, apple cider - 2 tsp
- Beans, dried pinto or kidney - 8 oz (if not using a slow cooker, sub any variety of canned beans)
- Thyme, fresh - 2 sprigs
- Stock, any type - 5 cups
- Tortellini, fresh or frozen - 8 oz
- Carrots / Onions / Celery / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Cheese (if using) - Grate and reserve rind. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Chard - Chop stems and combine with carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Chop leaves and keep them separate.
- Soak / boil beans: This is optional, but raw kidney beans contain a toxin called Phytohaemagglutinin. Cooking usually takes care of it; if you're worried at all, soak them for 5 hours and then boil for 10 minutes in fresh water (not the water you soaked them in). More details here. Alternatively, you can just skip raw beans and add cooked kidney beans in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- If making in slow cooker: Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and when it begins to shimmer, add carrots, celery, garlic and chard stems. Saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add Italian seasonings, tomato paste and vinegar and saute until veggies are coated, ~1 minute. Transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker. Add beans, thyme, stock and parmesan rind. If ingredients are not covered by liquid, add additional stock or water to cover. Cook until beans are tender, 3 to 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. (Note: cook time will vary based on the age of the beans.)
- If making on stovetop: Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and when it begins to shimmer, add carrots, celery, garlic and chard stems. Saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add Italian seasonings, tomato paste and vinegar and saute until veggies are coated, ~1 minute. Add canned beans, thyme, stock and parmesan rind. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
- To the soup add chard leaves and tortellini. (If using a slow cooker, make sure the heat is on high at this point). Simmer until tortellini is tender, 12 to 20 minutes, depending on if you are using fresh or frozen.
- Season soup with some salt, pepper or a bit more vinegar if needed.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
I made this on the stove. It was pretty good.0 Helpful
Would be 4 stars but the Irish stew this week stole the show for my family. Have to say this website makes Paleo cooking a breeze and we do not miss our coveted bread based carbs one bit! The key with this recipe is step 1. Take your time. If you rush the veggie sauna you will mess with the rest of the steps. We cooked for 4 and ended up having to let the veggies sweat for about 6 minutes and the sweet taters another 4. Step 2 may not seem important and you likely skipped it but do yourself a favor and let those spices seep into yer recently sauna'd veggie/tater party. Chard here in the state's is MONSTROUSLY overgrown (as in it is huge) so it takes a bit longer to cook. I added it in with about 8 minutes left of total simmer time and the texture turned out perfect. Paleo = no cheese...so we substituted some adtl salt.0 Helpful
We loved this. Parmesan rind really added to the flavour.0 Helpful
Used Kale instead of Chard. It was easy, quick, and tasty but I don't think we will add this to our regular rotation.0 Helpful
The chard did not cook down enough- I think spinach would be a better last minute add in. I had to strain around it. I'd put it in at the start next time, or wilt it on the stovetop first. Flavor was ok to me, spouse liked. Will try again.0 Helpful
It was good in terms of flavor, but sorely lacked broth (I had to add several cups of liquid after the slow cooker finished) and the beans never got all the way cooked, which surprised me because I soaked them overnight before making the soup and then used my slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Probably will not make again.0 Helpful