4-Ingredient Tortellini Soup

4-ingredient Tortellini soup insolence + wine

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I’m a big believer in cooking from the pantry. So often, we fill our pantries with baking supplies and canned soup, but with good planning, it can become an extension of your refrigerator. 

  • pasta (four kinds: spaghetti, angel hair, penne and dried tortellini)
  • canned tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce
  • dried and canned beans (black and white)
  • rice (brown and brown)
  • all-purpose flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder
  • sugar (granulated, brown and sugar fine)
  • cocoa powder & chocolate wafers (semisweet, bittersweet, milk)
  • salt & pepper
  • capers, olives & pickles
  • soy sauce, various mustards, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce
  • vinegar (white wine, red wine and apple cider vinegar)
  • chicken, beef and vegetable stock
  • honey, hot sauce, ketchup 
  • onions & garlic
  • base sauce
  • olive oil (one for cooking and extra-virgin for finishing)
  • canola oil
  • walnut or another nut oil for salad dressings
  • canned tuna, clams or anchovy filets
  • dried spies (parsley, basil, black peppercorns, cumin, chili powder, cardamom, cinnamon, dill, oregano, thyme)
  • flavor extracts (vanilla, almond, chocolate, lemon, coffee, cinnamon)
  • wine (dry white, dry red)


4-Ingredient Tortellini Soup

While you can’t eat every meal strictly out of your pantry, you can easily throw together something equally quick and delicious. One of my favorite “throw together” meals is tortellini soup. I’m told this soup is traditionally served in Northern Italy on Saint Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day as a break from from all the heavy holiday dishes traditionally served throughout the holidays.

4-ingredient tortellini soup insolence + wine

You aren’t going to win any culinary awards with this recipe, but when you’re hungry and are faced with an empty refrigerator, it’ll get the job done with minimal complaints. If you’ve got some frozen vegetables, toss those in, too.


  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried or fresh tortellini
  • 3 tablespoons parsley (optional)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Pour the chicken stock into a large pan and bring to a boil. Add tortellini, bring back to boil. Lower heat, and simmer, cooking according to package instructions.
  2. If using parsley, swirl it into the soup mixture, adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste preferences
  3. Ladle into soup bowls, top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

What's your go-to dinner when your refrigerator is pathetically empty?