Lemony Spinach Tortellini Soup (Avgolemono)

This Lemon Spinach Tortellini soup is not your average tortellini soup. It is perfect for the spring utilizing all the tasty spring green veggies and perfect for those rainy days of spring that warrant a warm bowl of soup - spring comfort food. Not only that, this Greek style version is made with avgolemono - not with heavy cream and yet it results in a lemony creamy spinach tortellini soup. The avgoemono helps give the broth a silkier creamer texture and although its optional to make this soup with the avgolemono, I strongly recommend it

Lemony Spinach Tortellini Soup

What is Avgolemono (av-gho-lé-mo-no)

Avgolemono is a Greek sauce made from eggs, lemon, and warm broth. It’s a staple in Greek cooking. It’s added to everything from soups to meat dishes, dolmathes, roasted veggies, and over fish. It’s a really nice base for any dish that will blend well with lemon. The eggs are whipped/whisked with the lemon juice (and sometimes cornstarch) then broth is slowly whisked in to temper eggs then whole mixture is added back to soup. This sauce adds a new dimension to just about anything. It does not add any eggy flavor to the soup at all. In this recipe I d not add any cornstarch to the mixture nor do I use a hand mixer to froth up the eggs - feel free to do so (add up to 1-2 tsp of cornstarch to the avgolemono when adding the lemon juice in) for a slightly thicker creamier soup.

Lemony Spinach Tortellini Soup Ingredients

Spinach Tortellini Soup Recipe Ingredients

  • OLIVE OIL: Extra virgin olive oil is what I use to saute the veggies in. If you prefer to use butter to do this that is fine too
  • LEEKS: I love the flavor leeks give this soup but feel free to use one yellow onion in its place
  • GARLIC: Adds really nice flavour to the soup - feel free to use as much or as little as you like.
  • HERBS: I like to use fresh herbs when I can. I use a combination of fresh parsley and fresh dill, but if you prefer one over the other feel free to use whichever you like. If you would like to season the soup with more herbs like fresh basil or swap out the other two with it, or add some dried herbs feel free to like some dried thyme, Italian seasoning or add some heat with some red pepper flakes.
  • CHICKEN: I usually use skinless boneless chicken breast but skinless boneless chicken thighs will work here too. For a speedier version of the soup you can use precooked chicken or rotisserie chicken - or leftover cooked chicken or turkey chopped or shredded and stirred into the soup at the end.
  • LEMON: I use the zest right at the start to really infuse the soup with lemon then I usually serve the soup with lemon slices or lemon wedges so that you can squeeze in as much lemon juice as you would like to your bowl of soup. You will also need freshly squeezed lemon juice for the avgolemono.
  • CHICKEN BROTH: I like to either use store bought or homemade chicken broth and if you are using store bought chicken broth or chicken stock - I recommend using low sodium chicken broth
  • TORTELLINI: I like to use fresh refrigerated tortellini but you can use frozen ones too - feel free to use any filling you like - my fav is cheese
  • VEGETABLES: I like adding chopped asparagus and green peas to this soup but feel free to replace them with other veggies or add in more veggies like chopped zucchini or even broccoli - they are quick cooking veggies that add extra veggies and nutrients to your soup.
  • FRESH SPINACH: I love adding greens to my soups especially baby spinach or kale - leave the baby spinach as is or give it a rough chop - up to you
  • EXTRA ADD INS: Feel free to add more veggies like chopped carrots, celery or zucchini - saute them along with the leek or onion. Feel free to stir in or serve the soup with grated parmesan cheese. Make soup even hearty by adding in some white beans.

Lemony Spinach Tortellini Soup Step by Step Process Part 1

Lemony Spinach Tortellini Soup Step by Step Process Part 2

How to Make Spinach Tortellini Soup:

  1. Start by sautéing the leek. Then add the garlic and the lemon zest
  2. Add broth and chicken and simmer away until chicken is cooked through. Skip this step if using left over roast chicken or rotisserie (for added flavour you can brown chicken in the oil before adding in the leeks - optional)
  3. Remove chicken and shred - set aside
  4. Add the tortellini and simmer until a couple minutes shy of being cooked through
  5. Stir in the asparagus and the peas
  6. Remove soup from heat and prepare avgolemono: Ladle out 2 cups of hot broth, whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy then slowly whisk in the lemon juice followed by the hot broth doing so slowly and while whisking. Stir the soup as you slowly drizzle the lemony mixture into the soup pot
  7. Stir in the chicken, spinach and the fresh herbs and return to low heat and cook until warmed through and spinach is wilted.

Can I Saute My Chicken First?

I get asked this question a lot. Many don’t like that the uncooked chicken is simmering with the leek. That is totally cool - feel free to sear your chicken whole or cut it into cubes and saute until cooked through. Remove chicken from pot and proceed with recipe - sautéing the veggies then shred and chop chicken if needed, and stir it into the soup when you add the shredded chicken back into the soup in the recipe instructions

Lemony Spinach Tortellini Soup

How do you store tortellini soup?

  • STORAGE: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge, the soup will last for 3-5 days if stored properly. Remember that pasta continues to absorb liquid so the soup will thicken and tortellini will swell and soften as it sits. Reheat stove top or in the microwave.
  • MAKE AHEAD: If you plan on making this soup ahead I recommend making the soup all the way until you have to add the tortellini and stop just before that - allow it to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days until just before you are ready to serve. Place soup in large soup pot bring up to a simmer and add tortellini then proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
  • FREEZING: You can freeze this soup, but if you want to freeze the entire batch, again it’s best to leave out tortellini and then add them and finish off the soup with reamingin ingredients and steps when you’re reheating. Freezing leftovers as-is, the soup will not have the same texture as when first cooked so I do not recommend it.

Lemony Spinach Tortellini Soup Up Close

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Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35-40 mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small leak, light green and white parts, sliced (or one diced onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 6 cups chicken broth/ chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breast * (2 cups shredded cooked/rotisserie chicken)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (9-ounce/ 255 g) package fresh cheese tortellini
  • ½ lb asparagus, ends trimmed and chopped into ½ inch piece
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh green peas
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach rough chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley/dill

For the avgolemono

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, room temp


  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat to medium-high heat. Add leek and cook stirring until softened, 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic, and lemon zest.
  3. Add chicken and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool, then shred or chop chicken into bite-size pieces.
  4. Meanwhile, return broth to a boil, add 1 package tortellini and cook according to package instructions. About 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the asparagus and frozen peas. Simmer until the vegetables are bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat and remove 1-2 ladles full of broth from soup into large measuring cup or bowl
  6. Whisk eggs until nice and frothy in a medium size bowl - 30 seconds - continue whisking while you drizzle in the lemon juice
  7. Temper eggs by slowly drizzling the broth into the frothy eggs while whisking
  8. Slowly drizzle in avgolemono mixture to the soup while stirring.
  9. Return pot back on stove over burner over medium low heat and reheat.
  10. Stir in the shredded chicken, spinach and herbs and allow the soup to warm up again
  11. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Divide and serve with some fresh pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes

  • For thicker avgolemono / thicker broth - simply whisk in 2 teaspoons cornstarch to the eggs when you whisk in the lemon juice.
  • If you would like use leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken - you can. You should have approx 2 cups of shredded chicken.
  • If not serving the lemon chicken soup right away, you’ll notice that the liquid disappears slowly. The starches soak up the liquid. Just add some stock to the soup for a less thick consistency, and when storing or reheating later.

Lemony Spinach Tortellini Soup