Il Brodo

Because soup is such an integral part of Italian cooking, second only to pasta, I cannot overemphasise the importance of broth Many soups are clear, basic meat or chicken broth, with pasta or rice added to it in a second stage. An example of this type of soup is the classic Tortellini in brodo. Broth has to look good as well as taste good: it must be clear and of an attractive colour. A few basic rules should be followed to achieve the desired effect:

  1. Always put the meat or chicken into cold water with the salt and bring to the boil very, very slowly.
  2. Add the flavouring vegetables only when it starts boiling.
  3. Strain it carefully while it is still hot.


  • 7 oz (200 g) raw shin or similar cut of beef or raw chicken, boned
  • pints (1 litre) cold water
  • 3 pinches salt
  • 1 onion, peeled and stuck with a clove
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 carrot, scraped and halved
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 parsley stalks


Put the meat in a stock pot, cover with the cold water and add the salt. Cover and bring to the boil as slowly as possible. As the foam rises to the surface, skim it off with a slotted spoon. When the water boils, add the vegetables and parsley, stir and cover again. Simmer very slowly for about 2 hours, remove from the heat and strain. Cool completely and strain again before use.