For a change I’ve given this recipe a simple name. It’s tempting to want to call it Tortellini and Turkey Soup with Quick-Roasted Vegetables and Parmigiano, but it is more flexible than that. The soup is inspired by the elegant simplicity of tortellini in brodo, a dish from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy which pairs fresh tortellini with a rich flavorful broth and lots of Parmigiano. Other little bits – peas, tiny vegetables, fresh herbs, shredded meat or cooked ham or pancetta – are add-ins.

Because the soup is simple, it needs that flavorful broth. This week, pre-Thanksgiving, I roasted a few chicken legs for the meat for the soup and then used the drippings in the pan to enhance canned chicken broth. (Just pour a bit of boiling water into your pan, scrape up the brown crispy bits and stir until they mostly dissolve. Pour through a fine strainer.) The enhanced chicken broth really tasted like roasted chicken.

I have also made this with my Rich Vegetable Broth – and no added meat. If you are making turkey stock after Thanksgiving, this is the perfect way to use it and some leftover shredded turkey. (You might want to reduce your turkey stock down just a bit more for the best flavor and mouthfeel.) You could also use a store-bought bone broth in this. Whichever direction you go with the broth, just make sure it is well seasoned. Salt and some sort of acid – lemon or vinegar – will pick it up, as will a dash of Worcestershire sauce.  I also highly recommend the addition of the tiny quick-roasted vegetables I’ve included here. They add more flavor to the broth. But you could also use leftover Thanksgiving vegetables cut into very small pieces. And don’t skimp on the Parmigiano.

With broth and store-bought tortellini on hand, this is a cinch to put together and a nice bridge from Thanksgiving back to everyday eating.

This recipe makes two portions, but you can scale everything up directly to serve four or six if you like.

Serves 2

  • 4 ounces fresh or dried tortellini (whatever kind you like, but on the smaller side)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups rich broth (Choose from homemade turkey broth, enhanced chicken broth - see notes above – rich vegetable broth, or homemade or storebought bone broth)
  • 1 cup shredded or torn cooked turkey or chicken meat
  • ¾ cup (more or less) quick-roasted root vegetable medley (do a half-batch of the recipe with any root vegetables you like; be sure to include some carrots and cut small dice)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar (more to taste)
  • ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed or briefly microwaved
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, mint, chives or other fresh herb
  • Fresh pepper
  • Parmigiano (a hunk to grate, or about ¼ cup freshly and coarsely grated)


1. Cook the tortellini in salted boiling water. Follow the package directions, but shave off a minute of the recommended time. Drain.

2. In a medium soup pot, reheat the broth gently over medium heat until just steaming (you don’t want to boil it down at all). Taste for salt and acid and adjust accordingly.

3. Add the shredded meat and stir until just heated through, a couple minutes.

4. Distribute the tortellini between two warm shallow soup bowls. Scatter the roasted vegetables and the peas over the tortellini. (Alternatively, you can add the roasted vegetables and peas to the broth to heat for a minute).

5. Ladle all the broth and meat over the tortellini (and vegetables) in the bowl. Sprinkle with herbs, season with fresh pepper if you like, and garnish with a generous amount of freshly grated Parmig