It’s 7:00 pm. I’ve just gotten off the train in Queens, and walk the 7 “short blocks” (as my real estate broker called it) to my apartment. In the rain. It’s the kind of rain that soaks your jeans so they cling cold to your legs. It’s raw. There’s a pool of backed-up drain water I awkwardly and unsuccessfully leap over. One side of my yellow umbrella feebly hangs slack due to a broken rib and sends a steady stream of water down the back of my new wool coat.
We’ve all had to endure gross weather like this. It’s the kind of weather that makes you cancel your plans to go to the gym (but let’s be real, any kind of weather is fair game for that excuse). A stormy night is perfect for staying in and making belly-warming comfort food. Today, after taking off my socks and warming my feet with my hairdryer, I pulled out some beef broth and tortellini for a quick and easy Italian soup, Tortellini en Brodo.
Tortellini en Brodo is kind of the perfect cold weather soup: rich beef broth, plump cheese-filled pasta, parmesan that melts so you have to scrape it off the bottom of the bowl. Some parsley to brighten it all up.
Maybe I was influenced by Bon Appetit’s yummy quick comfort food in the December issue (admitted: shameless plug) but it’s times like these that you need to be able to whip up a warm, filling meal when you’re unexpectedly chilled to the bone. Keeping broth and pasta on hand is always a good idea.
This soup mind-numbingly easy, so I’m not even going to give a formal recipe: Cook about a cup of dry, tiny tortellini in salted boiling water until almost tender. Then, drain all but a few tablespoons of the pasta water and return the tortellini and remaining water to the pan. Add beef stock (or chicken or veg) until there’s about a half-inch of broth over the tortellini. I added a chunk of leftover parmesan rind for an umami boost. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and add freshly grated parmesan, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Then put on your pajamas, sit on your couch, turn on some Friends reruns and enjoy.