White tomato soup with goat’s cheese tortellini


  • Serves 4 people

  • 2.7 kg vine-ripened tomatoes
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) basil leaves, plus 2 tbsp finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 100 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight, drained
  • 100 gm goat’s cheese
  • To serve: baby basil leaves
  • Pasta dough
  • 230 gm plain flour
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 extra yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
01   Coarsely chop tomato (reserve one whole for garnish) and process with whole basil leaves and garlic in a blender until smooth. Pour into a coarse sieve lined with muslin placed over a large saucepan or deep bowl and refrigerate overnight to drain (do not press solids). Season liquid to taste (discard solids), and set aside. Makes about 1 litre.
02   Cook beans in a large saucepan of simmering water over medium heat until tender (40-45 minutes), drain and set aside.
03   For pasta dough, sieve flour onto a work surface with a pinch of fine sea salt, form a well, then add eggs. Mix in flour a little at a time with a fork until combined, add oil and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest (1 hour).
04   Meanwhile, combine goat’s cheese and chopped basil in a bowl, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
05   Halve pasta dough, then, working with one piece at a time, lightly flour and feed through a pasta machine, starting at the widest setting then folding and feeding through, reducing settings notch by notch, until pasta is 3mm thick. Cut 12 rounds with a lightly floured 8cm-diameter cutter (discard scraps). Place a tablespoon of goat’s cheese mixture in the centre of each round, lightly brush edges with water, fold over to form a semicircle and press edges to seal. Brush corners lightly with water, bring together, then pinch to seal.
06   Heat tomato stock over medium heat until hot, add beans and stir occasionally until warmed through (5-7 minutes). Meanwhile, dice remaining tomato and set aside.
07   Cook tortellini in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (2-4 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, divide among serving bowls, ladle over soup, scatter with diced tomato and baby basil leaves, season to taste and serve.
This recipe is from the September 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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