I thought this slow cooker tortellini soup was absolutely fantastic. The sauce was perfect. Nice and tomato-y. But the big hit for me was the tortellini. It absorbed some of the great sauce and became great little scrumptious bites. I used fresh tortellini, but frozen would work just as well. So would ravioli.
Sprinkled with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan, this soup was the ideal dish on a cool day.
Fennel can be a little too strong (that licorice flavor can drown out everything!), so use as much or as little as you like. Or not. And don’t be afraid to add a few splashes of hot sauce or a good amount of dried red pepper flake for some kick.
Also try my slow cooker spicy kielbasa cabbage soup. Perfect on a cool day.
Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef or substitute ground Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 can 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes
- 1 can 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 can 10.75 ounces tomato condensed soup
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds optional
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon salt adjust to preference
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 package 16 ounces or 1 pound frozen cheese filled tortellini
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley optional
- Toppings: freshly grated Parmesan cheese large spoonful of ricotta cheese
- In a large skillet over medium heat, crumble and brown the ground beef until cooked through. Add the onion and garlic in the last few minutes of the cooking. They don't need to cook or get all the way tender, I just like them to have a little bit of that "skillet-cooked" flavor.
- While the beef is cooking, pour the crushed tomatoes, petite diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato condensed soup in the slow cooker. No need to drain any of the cans!
- Add in the sugar and seasonings - the dried basil, fennel, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- I loved the amount of seasoning in this soup, but definitely adjust these seasonings to your personal preference. You can always start with less seasoning and add more.
- Stir in the cooked ground beef with onions and garlic. Add in the beef broth (I dissolved beef bouillon cubes into boiling water).
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-7 hours.
- About 15-20 minutes before you are ready to serve, pour the frozen tortellini's into the soup. Turn the slow cooker up to high (or leave it if it was already on high) and let the tortellini cook.
- Serve in bowls with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a large spoonful of ricotta cheese (I love stirring these cheeses in - SO good), any extra seasonings you want, and some freshly chopped parsley.