Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups soup and about 1 tsp. pesto)
Brothy and light, this is a perfect summer soup. A quick and easy pesto adorns each bowl for a burst of herbal freshness. In a pinch, you can use purchased pesto. Any nut can work in place of the pine nuts, so if there’s an allergy, try switching to a nut or seed that’s safe (perhaps sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds will work). Try to serve soon after making; the tortellini will absorb more and more liquid the longer the soup sits.
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil (from about 3 bunches)
Process basil, cheese, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; process until very finely chopped and fully combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as necessary. Set aside.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is just tender but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add chicken stock, and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook tortellini in a stockpot of boiling water 3 minutes less than package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Add tortellini, spinach, and peas to soup. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Ladle soup evenly into 4 bowls. Top each serving with pesto, and sprinkle evenly with pepper.