Vegetable broth is the gardener’s best friend. Incredibly simple to make, this broth is perfect for using up a garden’s excess or for utilizing the overlooked parts of vegetables—carrot tops, onion pieces and celery bases—that would otherwise end up in the trash or on a compost pile. Using fresh quality ingredients is the key to making a winning broth. Sip it for its health benefi ts or use it in place of water when making risotto or rice. In this take on the classic Italian dish, Tortellini En Brodo (Tortellini In Broth), cheese tortellini is cooked in homemade vegetable broth and topped with roasted root vegetables.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Makes 2 quarts
2 medium yellow onions, unpeeled, quartered
1 head garlic, halved
3 celery stalks, halved
6 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Optional extras: leeks (green and/or white parts), fennel, parsnips, mushrooms, mushroom stems, carrot tops
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot. Add 4 quarts of water, about 16 cups, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 1½ to 2 hours (until reduced by half). Taste and season, adding more salt if needed. Strain the broth from the vegetables. Allow broth to cool and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
TORTELLINI EN BRODO WITH ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Makes 6 servings
2 medium-sized beets, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 quarts vegetable broth (8 cups)
1 pound fresh cheese tortellini
Optional garnish: fresh chopped parsley, shaved Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Toss diced beets and carrots with oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and roast for 35-40 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. This can be done a day in advance and the vegetables stored in the refrigerator until needed. (The beets will color the carrots purple. This will not affect the flavor, but if you would like to keep this from happening, simply toss the vegetables separately and divide on the baking sheet.)
In a large pot, bring broth to a boil. Add tortellini and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until tender but still firm. Serve in bowls and top with a large spoonful of roasted beets and carrots. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or shaved Parmesan cheese.
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MEREDITH STEELE is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer and author of InSockMonkeySlippers.com, an award winning family food blog celebrating creative and fresh foods. Her recipe development and photography company, MBS Recipe Development specializes in multimedia recipe development for commercial and small business who’s clients include everyone from Ziploc® to small wineries. Meredith’s work has been published online, in various print media, and has been nominated for the SAVEUR awards. She can also be found across the pond writing a monthly column for JamieOliver.com. When Meredith is not in the kitchen, she’s roaming Dallas, Texas with her husband, curly-headed pixie of a daughter, and big floppy-eared dog.