Can’t cook anything without burning it?
Think again. Here’s a recipe so simple that anyone can manage it. And… it’s tasty. And… it disguises leftover meat! In fifteen minutes or less, to boot. And it’s even got a fancy eyetalian name, too!
Zuppa di Tortellini
1. Get some stock or broth.
This is actually homemade chicken stock. Don’t be impressed. It’s easy to make. I’ll post some tips in the next week if you can’t figure it out for yourself. In the meantime, it comes in cans or tetrapak boxes or little dry bouillon cubes for your convenience. About a litre (or quart) of stock will do for four or so people plus leftovers.
LAME COOK TIP: No stock? Try tomato juice or V-8 juice! No juice? Hey, I’m not a magician. Go get some bouillon cubes.
2. Extract the trusty tortellini stash from the freezer.
I always have some of this stuff kicking around and buy it by the kilo at Loblaws:
A couple of handfuls will do for a litre of stock.
3. Cut up whatever leftover meat you have as long as it goes with the broth.
Yesterday’s selection: the remains of one of those prepackaged mini ham roasts. MMMM. I actually prefer ham to chicken in this soup for some reason. A cup of so of diced meat should work.
4. Bring the stock to a boil…
Simmer all of the above for 5 minutes or so. When the tortellini are done they will float to the top. Turn off the heat.
5. I guess you’d better stick in some green stuff as well.
I know that not everyone wants to be the only North American with scurvy in the 21st century!! Since I don’t usually have any fresh veg about, I typically stick in some frozen peas (which I like because they are easy to fish out of the soup!)
If using frozen veg, just let them sit in the hot broth for a couple or three minutes.
6. Season to taste.
I like parmesan cheese grated on top of this. The Scotsman who lives with me, however, does not. Salt and pepper also go well with everything, I find!
7. Serve up with some homemade crackers which you have spent all day whipping up.
Oh, sorry – I forgot. This is the fancy Italian tortellini soup, not the boring old Britisher soup. So – serve with crusty bread, preferably italian style.
LAME COOK TIP: Don’t have tortellini? All the fixings for another tasty ethnic soup are available at your local smoke shop. Stop there on your way home and pick them up:
Green onions and sesame oil are a nice touch too, I find.
So there you have it – not one, but two foolproof recipes!
(And, by the way, if you don’t find them to be foolproof, don’t bother dropping me a line unless you want me to create a Hall of Shame page and post it there. I mean, there are limits!)
Coming Tomorrow: Presto Cooking part ii: Breakfast and Soup