I am still in my pyjamas with a scarf long socks and sheepskin slippers on! It is bliksem cold up here in Underberg. Snow has fallen up the road in Himeville and is apparently still falling in Kokstad. Met Eish ja!!!! I am not going to rabbit on today – we are off to the Underberg cheesery at River Glen Farm just now!!! On Sunday we are lunching and partaking in wine tasting at a spot called Wines of Africa who, I am told, have an enormous fire going at this time of the year……. We are also going to attempt some mushroom picking at Kenmo Lake in Himeville sometime in the next week. Watch this spot! I am so grateful that I can visit Carol at the farm – i just love it here. The air is like champagne and sunshine becomes your best friend … walking through the river is like a treasure hunt for she offers up such beautiful smooth round multi coloured pebbles. The leaves are flutting down off the trees like confetti and i have three dogs curled up at my feet in front of the fire …………
I see that it is National Soup day so I am going to post my Tortellini in Brodo with Basil Pesto. It’s such a tasty bowl of soup and I am going to post the traditional Italian recipe together with the cheat cheat – bowl of soup in a flash version that can be prepared in 20 minutes.
The Farm Dogs – Delilah Brandy & Tyson!
Tortellini in Brodo
Tortellini in Broth
Olive Oil or Sunflower oil
2 chopped onions
8 skinless chicken thighs
4 chopped carrots
2 stalks of celery chopped
4 chopped tomatoes
6 chopped baby marrows/ zucchini
200g chopped green beans
A bouquet garni – of fresh thyme, rosemary and bay leaves – if you don’t have fresh just add dried herbs.
2 chicken stock cubes – for more flavour
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 packet of dried Tortellini – I used the Three Cheese Tortellini
About 250g of fresh tortellini – choose you own filling flavour
You could add other veggies to this if you like – I generally use what I have and what needs to be cooked. If you have some turnips or brinjals that need using chop them up and add them.
Firstly brown the onion, garlic and chicken thighs – add a glass of dry white wine to deglaze the pan.
Add all of your veggies and give it a good stir – then add the herbs / bouquet garni, stock cubes, smoked paprika and black pepper.
Cover with cold water and bring to the boil.
Once it’s boiling – reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour.
Remove the chicken thighs, the meat can be removed and used in toasted chicken mayo and pesto sandwiches for lunch the next day – and strain the soup through a sieve – you will be left with a pot of brown broth (brodo) to which you will add the cooked tortellini. You will have all the veggies left over as well – these can be liquidized separately with some fresh cream and you will have a pot of creamy vegetable soup as well.
Boil the Tortellini in a large pot of salted water. When they are cooked drain them and add them to broth.
Serve with a few dollops of basil pesto and a good sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
A nice hot crusty loaf of bread like this focaccia is the perfect partner for this dish.
Now if you DON’T have time to do the veggies and such – perhaps you have just got home after a hard day’s work or shopping …. You can easily cheat. Nonna was famous for doing this when she didn’t have the time or the ingredients to make the ‘real thing’.
Boil your tortellini as above and in a separate pot add water and enough chicken stock cubes or liquid stock to make a nice tasty pot of broth – simply drain the tortellini when they are soft – add them to your stock and serve them with the pesto and parmesan cheese!!
Done – in 20 minutes.