Ham and Tortellini Soup with Caramelized Onions and Fennel

This is a revision to my Tortellini & Mushroom Soup with Caramelized Onions and Fennel, it was really yummy.







  • Ham broth, recipe follows (can use chicken broth, about 8 cups)
  • Caramelized onions, recipe follows
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 C. cubed ham
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 C. flour
  • 1 15oz. can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 pkg. cheese tortellini
  • 2 C. heavy cream
  • 1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Ham Broth:

  • 1 ham bone with bits of meat attached
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, quarted
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3 parsley sprigs (fresh)

Caramelized Onions:

  • 3 sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • salt

Start by making your ham broth (if you have a ham bone laying around). Add 1 ham bone, with bits of meat attached, to a large soup pot. Add enough water to cover bone. Add all the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, adding more water as needed to keep bone covered. Strain broth, discarding solids and reserving liquid.

While the broth is cooking, start your onions.  Melt butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add a layer of onions, sprinkle with salt. Add another layer of onions and sprinkle with salt. Continue this layering until all onions are in pan. Cook, undisturbed about 15 minutes and then stir. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for an hour to an hour and a half, or until a rich brown color.

In a large soup pot, ideally the one you made the ham broth in, melt 2 Tbsp. butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add carrot and fennel, cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour, stirring, until veggies are coated and cook a minute or two, constantly stirring.

Turn heat to low, add ham broth, ham, beans, onions, mustard, and herbs and spices.

Bring to a boil, reduce again, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Add tortellini and cook 2-3 minutes.

Stir in cream and cheese, heat through.

Serve with fennel fronds as a garnish.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *