Butternut Tortellini Mushroom Stew
for the stew
- 1.5 ounces dried mushrooms*
- 2 cups water, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large parmesan rind (from about 1/2 lbs
- 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 60 ounces vegetable broth, divided
- 4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces dried cheese tortellini
- 3 ounces (roughly two large handfuls) baby spinach
*Cook's Note: If you are not a fan of mushroom texture, you may wish to use only the mushroom broth in this recipe and discard the dried mushrooms after they have served their purpose. However, if you enjoy the texture, feel free to leave them in, or add 2 cups of fresh, sliced cremini mushrooms to the pan along with the shallots, and sauté until they begin to brown. They will not substitute the broth, but will work in combination with it to achieve both the wonderful savory flavor, and give you a more familiar mushroom texture.
Place dried mushrooms in a large measuring cup and cover with water, pressing down so that all the mushrooms are submerged. Allow to soften while you prepare the soup - this will likely take about thirty minutes.
In the meantime, place a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Add shallots and kosher salt and cook until just golden brown. (If you are using fresh mushrooms, you will also add them at this point.) Add parmesan rind and squash to the pan and cover with 32 ounces of the vegetable broth.
Increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the squash has just begun to soften. While the soup simmers, attend to the mushrooms.
Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid in a clean container. If using the whole mushrooms, thoroughly rinse them with cold water and pat with a paper towel to remove as much liquid as possible (this may take several towels). Give them a rough chop. Strain the reserved "broth" through a fine mesh strainer lined with paper towels or a coffee filter.
To the soup, add the chopped sage, tortellini, remaining vegetable broth, mushrooms (if using), and 1/2 cup of the mushroom broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the tortellini is cooked through. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the crostini.
Remove the pot from the heat and add spinach. Stir for several minutes, until the spinach has just wilted. Serve immediately with crostini. Enjoy!!
for the crostini
- one small ciabatta loaf, sliced diagonally
- 1/4 cup roasted walnut oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set oven on the broiler setting.
Lay the sliced ciabatta out onto the prepared sheet pan and brush with walnut oil. Cover with freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle each toast with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of grated parmesan.
Place under the broiler for about 3 minutes; until golden and toasted. Serve alongside warm stew. Enjoy!
Cook's Note: This stew is best served as soon as possible as it will begin to thicken as it sits due to the starchy nature of the squash and pasta.