“You may have noticed that there are quite a few lemons in the recipes in this book,” Jeanine Donofrio writes in her third and newest cookbook, Love and Lemons: Simple Feel Good Food. This delicate yet flavorful soup lets Donofrio’s appreciation for the fruit shine: Instead of throwing away peels from juiced lemons, she freezes them until she has enough to create a golden broth that’s perfect on its own or paired with simple ingredients, like tortellini and fresh seasonal veggies.
Food & Drink
Tortellini Soup with Lemon Peel Broth
A Texas recipe blogger celebrates citrus in this springtime soup from her new cookbook
Photo: Eva Kolenko
Tortellini Soup with Lemon Peel Broth (Yield: 4 servings)
For the LEMON PEEL BROTH
4 celery stalks, including leaves
2 garlic bulbs, sliced in half horizontally
Peels from 4 lemons
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black peppercorns
10 cups water
For the TORTELLINI SOUP
9 oz. store-bought tortellini
4 cups Lemon Peel Broth
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cups fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the broth: Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Strain and discard the vegetables, peppercorns, and lemon peels. Season to taste.
To store the broth: Allow it to cool to room temperature after cooking. Transfer it to airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Make the soup: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the tortellini according to the package instructions, cooking until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Warm the broth in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Add the cooked tortellini, spinach, peas, lemon juice, and half the basil. Stir until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Season to taste.
Portion the soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, the remaining basil, several grinds of pepper, and pinches of red pepper flakes, if desired.
Excerpted from Love and Lemons: Simple Feel Good Food. Copyright © 2023 by Jeanine Donofrio. Published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.