As I have friends from all over the place, I don’t always eat and cook Italian. In fact one of my very best friends in Italy is Isabel, from near Kracow, and I often go to her house for dinner. Her speciality is a very Italian Spaghetti alla bolognese, but sometimes she goes back to her roots.
Other times, she can’t manage to get hold of all the ingredients, but has a craving for Polish food anyway… so Italian-Polish fusion cuisine is born! In this case she desperately wanted Barszcz Czerwony, beetroot soup with mushroom dumplings. In the absence of the proper mushroom dumplings however… Italian tortellini were the only option.
I wasn’t convinced at first. Especially considering that the soup turns the pasta pink. Yep, pink pasta, every barbie fan’s dream food…
But you know what? It was delicious. Slightly sweet and sour, the soup worked well with the saltiness of the meat tortellini.
You will need (serves 4)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 bay leay
a handful of parsley
750g of raw beetroot
sprinkling of cornflour
a squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper
4 portions of prepacked (yes, I know…) meat tortellini
Gently fry the onion and carrots in olive oil, then when you are happy with the colour add about a litre and a half of water, the bay leaf and the parsley and leave to simmer.
While the stock simmers, boil the beetroot until tender enough to pierce easily with a sharp knife. Once this is done, remove the beetroot skins (just make sure they are cool enough to handle!) and chop into cubes.
Remove the bay leaf from the stock and add the cubed beetroot and lemon juice. Blend it with a handheld blender, then add the tortellini and let them cook in the soup. Thicken with cornflour if desired, then season to taste…