VEGETABLE BOUILLON WITH FRESH HERB RAVIOLI

Bouillon is a fancy word for a simple broth. It comes from the word "bouillir", meaning to boil. This is a spring favourite and although we serve it in a very small portion between courses, it can be a meal on its own. It is ideal for the seasonal change or just to empty your pantry. Happy boiling!

By Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen

VEGETABLE BOUILLON WITH FRESH HERB RAVIOLI

  • Serves: 4

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Preparation time: 3 hours

  • Cooking time: 2½ hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 stalks celery, cleaned and cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways
  • 4 baby artichokes, trimmed (optional)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and studded with 3 cloves
  • 1 leek, sliced and washed
  • 1 bouquet garni (including thyme and bay leaf)
  • 5 ml whole black peppercorns
  • 500 ml vegetable or chicken stock (see page xxx)
  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 12  wonton sheets, or square pasta sheets (available at Asian food stores)
  • 150 g Japanese mushrooms or sliced mushrooms of your choice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 ml walnut oil

METHOD

  1. In a large saucepan, mix the celery, carrots, artichokes, shallots, leek, bouquet garni and peppercorns with the stock and simmer on low to medium heat for about 2½ hours, or until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Place a few leaves of each herb (basil, tarragon, flat-leaf parsley) in the centre of each wonton sheet and brush the corners with cold water.
  3. Fold the one corner over to meet the other and press the sides to close. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside until ready to use.
  4. When the bouillon is nearly ready, add any leftover fresh herbs and the mushrooms into the saucepan, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover with the lid and switch off the heat.
  6. Bring a medium-sized saucepan of salted water to a boil. Place the ravioli in the water to cook for 2–5 minutes until al dente.
  7. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ravioli and drain on paper towel.
  8. Serve the bouillon in a bowl and place the ravioli between the vegetables. Drizzle with a few drops of walnut oil.
  9. Serve with fresh bread to soak up all the goodness.