RECIPE: Tortellini in Beef Mushroom Broth
This is simply a delicious, light dinner. You throw everything in a pot, cook it up, strain it, cook up some tortellini, and slurp slurp slurp. Delish.
This soup does include a technique that my Italian mother uses a lot in peasant Italian dishes-throwing a chunk of Parmesan cheese rind into the stew pot for flavor and depth. It works wonderfully in this soup. and the extras make a nice, light lunch the next day.
Tortellini in Beef Mushroom Broth
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
1 cup dried Porcini mushrooms, rinsed
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 large piece of Parmesan cheese rind (3-5" long, 1-2" thick)
1/4 cup parsley leaves and stems, torn up roughly
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp. black peppercorns
6 cups beef broth
4 cups water
1 lb. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini, cooked al dente according to package directions.
In a large stock pot, place all the ingredients minus the pasta. Bring to a boil, and simmer slightly covered for about 1 1/2-2 hours. The broth will be dark, aromatic and reduced down.
Take off heat and pour the broth through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Press the vegetables aggressively to get all the juice and flavor out of everything. Discard the broth remnants, and pour the clear broth back into the pot. Heat through and adjust flavor. You may wish to add a little hot water to balance the salt and "punchiness" of the broth.
Serve warm with a handful of tortellini in each bowl, and garnish with extra chopped parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.