Originally published in The Lakelander‘s Taste article “The Soul-Warming Kind.”

Enjoy this cozy soup recipe to create the perfect fall mood on one of the cooler evenings this weekend.


3 Tbsp olive oil
2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 leek, sliced thin
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 15 oz. can of chickpeas
1 28 oz. can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes, with juice
1 cup kale, chopped fine
9-ounce package of quality cheese tortellini
Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling (optional)          Grated parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for a couple minutes, until they start to brown.

Add 2 more tablespoons of oil along with the chopped onion, garlic, and leek. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened.

 Add the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, and potato, and stir for a minute or two. 

Add the stock, the chickpeas, and then the tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you go. Add a few generous pinches of salt (be judicious if your stock is salted already). Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.

Add the kale and the tortellini, and continue to cook over a simmer until both are tender and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve garnished with a few drops of the aged balsamic and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.