Sigh. I can’t believe I’m excited to share a soup recipe. But I am. And that is because I am living, enduring, functioning through a winter in Ontario. I haven’t done this in 13 years! Soup is not the first thing that I think of eating when I lived along the eastern coastal region of Mexico. My husband and daughter disagree, but I would lean more towards what my son often says when my husband makes soup, “No thanks. I’m not a soup person”.

But here I am. Trying to stay warm. Frankly, I don’t have a lot of soup recipes in my repertoire these days. However, my mom made two soups last week. And they brought me happiness and warmth. She has been making both for years.

I like this one especially because it’s quite hearty for being such a simple recipe. We have a great Polish deli nearby that has fantastic double-smoked kielbasa, so that’s what mom used in this. It didn’t disappoint. Try and get a decent brand of tortellini too. I haven’t bought tortellini in years because in Mexico we didn’t have many options. But here, there are a plenty. I was happy with the multi-coloured one. The only thing is, don’t overcook the pasta. Undercook it a little because it will soften more in the soup. And this isn’t a soup that is good doubled, unless you keep the pasta separate. Otherwise it softens plenty more. Great for babies and toddlers, but not for me who enjoys a little texture.

It’s easy and it comforting and can be made in under 30 minutes. You can also make it the night before and add the pasta right before eating the next day.

Stay warm!


  • 2 TAB olive oil
  • 12 ounces good quality smoked kielbasa, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fennel (bulb part)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TAB fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper
  • 10 cups good quality chicken broth
  • 4 cups kale (you can exchange for spinach, but I love the crunch of the kale in the soup)
  • 1 15-ounce can white kidney beans
  • 10 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese


Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add kielbasa, onion, fennel, garlic, thyme, and red pepper and sauté until vegetables are soft and kielbasa is brown, about 10 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Add kale and beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer until kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. Add tortellini and simmer until pasta is tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.

Serve with grated parmesan sprinkled on top.

Makes 6 servings


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