Upgrade Watery Canned Soup With Store-Bought Tortellini

You might find soup in the "appetizer" section of a restaurant's menu, but when you're in need of a warm and comforting dinner idea at home, a good, hearty soup can serve as the perfect meal in and of itself. The operative word, of course, being "hearty." While homemade soups and stews are usually loaded full of chunky ingredients like fresh vegetables and tender meats, most of us can attest that the store-bought varieties are oftentimes more sparse on that front, featuring watery broth and a mere sprinkling of ingredients.

It's a logistical fact, of course, given that they are meant to last in cupboards for long periods of time. Not to mention, there's only so much food that can be packed and preserved in a can. However, canned options are still an undeniably convenient solution when you're short on time and can't spend hours preparing a meal. But that doesn't mean you must settle for a subpar soup for dinner. Indeed, you can still save yourself time and energy in the kitchen by using that watery, less-than-filling soup as a base, then upgrading it with some more robust ingredients, from pasta to meat. Our simple suggestion? Combine the best of both worlds by adding some store-bought tortellini to the mix.

Tortellini is an easy and filling option to add to soup

Tortellini is a type of stuffed pasta that originated in the Northern region of Italy. Similar to ravioli, tortellini features a noodle wrapped around a filling of meat and cheese. So why use tortellini over ravioli (or any other pasta for that matter) to thicken up your canned soup? Well, the pillowy, ring-shaped bundles of goodness are typically bite-sized, making it the ideal component for a spoonable dish. They also feature a hole at their center, which allows for the liquid broth to effortlessly flow through with every spoonful. In fact, the ingredient is often served "en brodo," or "in broth." Most importantly, though, they supply that sought-after heartiness thanks to their stuffing, which typically consists of ricotta or parmesan cheese, meat like prosciutto or mortadella, or both, which will instantly elevate your soup dish. 

Chances are you can find pre-made tortellini with a variety of fillings at your local grocery store. And since they are so easy to add to your canned concoction while it's already heating up, you'll hardly be tacking on extra time to your cooking. Just toss them in your pot while the soup is simmering and allow them to soak up that excess water and cook through, which should only take a few minutes. When you ladle some into your bowl and enjoy the rich, filling ingredients, you'll hardly remember your soup came from a can.