Trim the roots and dark green leaves from the leeks. Slice the white and light green part in half lengthwise and then slice the halves thinly crosswise. Rinse well and drain.
Melt the butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, leeks, and carrot. Season with a couple pinches of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. (It’s fine if the vegetables brown lightly.) Stir in 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook for about 20 seconds, then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the peas. Continue to simmer until the tortellini are cooked, 3 to 5 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Portion the soup into warm bowls, top each with some of the cheese, and serve.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make most of the soup ahead, but don’t add the tortellini until you’re ready to eat or they’ll become mushy.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips