I made Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo and it's so much better than chicken noodle soup

I made Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo and it's so much better than chicken noodle soup
  • I recently made Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo soup, an Italian twist on chicken noodle.

  • The soup features cheese ravioli, plus carrots, celery, and parmesan cheese.

  • I've made more than 40 of Garten's recipes and the ravioli en brodo is one of my absolute favorites.

After making my way through Ina Garten’s delicious pastas and desserts, I decided to try some of her comforting soups.

I’ve whipped up the Barefoot Contessa’s savory chicken chili and soothing winter minestrone, but the soup I’ve been most excited to try was her ravioli en brodo — an Italian spin on chicken noodle.

I decided to challenge myself and make Garten’s homemade chicken stock for this dish, and it was definitely worth the extra effort. Here’s how it went.

A day before I made the ravioli en brodo, I whipped up Garten’s homemade chicken stock.

Ina Garten's homemade chicken stock
Making Garten's homemade chicken stock. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

Ravioli en brodo appears in Garten's most recent cookbook, "Go-To Dinners." She said the key to its flavor is "rich homemade chicken stock."

I usually take the quicker option because, as the Barefoot Contessa herself says, "store-bought is fine!" But since the broth is clearly the star of this dish, I decided to make Garten's homemade chicken stock instead.

To make Garten's homemade chicken stock, you'll need:

  • 3 (5-pound) roasting chickens

  • 3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered

  • 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved

  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut into thirds

  • 4 parsnips, unpeeled and halved

  • 20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 20 sprigs fresh dill

  • 15 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half

  • 1 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns (not ground)

Place all the ingredients in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot, add 7 quarts of water, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer your stock uncovered, skimming off any foam that comes to the top, for at least four hours (I let it simmer for about six). Let the stock cool, then strain through a colander and discard the solids.

Garten’s ravioli en brodo features the homemade stock, plus plenty of veggies.

Ingredients for Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
Ingredients for Garten's ravioli en brodo. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

To make Garten's ravioli en brodo at home, for a serving of 4-6, you'll need:

  • 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 onions)

  • 2 cups (½-inch thick) diagonally sliced carrots, (about 3-5 carrots)

  • 1 ½ cups (½-inch) diced celery (3 ribs)

  • 1 ½ cups (½-inch) diced fennel, top and core removed

  • 1 Italian Parmesan cheese rind (about 2 x 3 inches)

  • 1 pound cheese ravioli, fresh or frozen

  • Freshly-grated Italian parmesan cheese, for serving

  • Minced fresh dill or parsley, for serving

  • Freshly-squeezed lemon juice, for serving

I began by prepping my vegetables.

Chopped veggies for Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
I diced the celery and chopped the onions. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I chopped the onions, peeled and sliced the carrots, and diced the celery and fennel.

I threw my veggies in a pot and sautéd them for 15 minutes.

Cooking vegetables for Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
I cooked my vegetables for about 15 minutes. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I added ¼ cup of olive oil to a pot placed over medium heat. Then I threw in the onions, celery, carrots, and fennel and cooked them for 15 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally, until they had softened.

Then I added the homemade chicken stock.

Adding stock to Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
Adding stock to the ravioli en brodo. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I also threw in 2 cups of water, per Garten's instructions.

I also threw in the parmesan rind and seasoned the broth with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.

Adding parmesan rind to stock for Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
Adding the parmesan rind to the soup. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

One thing I've learned in my season of soup-making is that a parmesan rind can add so much extra flavor to your broth.

As explained by Food & Wine, the parmesan rind — which is completely edible — releases a "savory and nutty" depth as it begins to melt and also helps give soups a "silky consistency." You can store parmesan rinds in a Ziploc bag in your freezer for up to a year, so it's always on hand whenever you need to add a little more umami to your dinner.

I brought my soup to a boil, then lowered the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Simmering Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
Bringing my soup to a boil. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

Garten says you should let the soup simmer partially uncovered.

While the soup was simmering, I prepped the ingredients I needed for serving.

Grating cheese for Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
Grating the parmesan cheese. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I grated my parmesan cheese and minced some dill for the soup toppings.

I also began to cook the ravioli.

Cooking pasta for Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
I cooked my ravioli while the broth was simmering. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I cooked my ravioli in a pot of boiling water with two tablespoons of salt for about four minutes.

Every pasta is different, so make sure to follow the specific directions on the package of your ravioli.

I drained the ravioli and spread them out on two plates.

Laying out pasta for Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
My cooked ravioli pasta. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

Garten says doing this step will ensure the ravioli squares don't stick together.

Once my soup was done simmering, I removed the parmesan rind.

Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo in pot
My broth was ready. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

It was time to serve dinner!

Per Garten’s instructions, I placed the ravioli in a bowl before adding the soup.

Pasta on plate for Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
I plated the ravioli before adding the broth. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I started with four raviolis, but quickly realized I definitely wanted more.

I poured the broth over my ravioli, then sprinkled parmesan and dill on top — along with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
My ravioli en brodo looked beautiful. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

There's something about this soup that just looks so elegant and impressive. The broth has such a lovely golden hue, and the pops of color from the carrots and dill give it a rustic charm.

And did I mention it smelled phenomenal?

Garten’s ravioli en brodo is one of my all-time favorite recipes by the Barefoot Contessa.

Ina Garten's ravioli en brodo
Garten's ravioli en brodo soup is one of her best dishes. Anneta Konstantinides/Business Insider

I've probably made close to 40 of Garten's recipes — if not more — over the last few years and her ravioli en brodo is easily one of the best I've ever tried. The broth is so rich and full-bodied, it really blew me away. I made this for my boyfriend for dinner one night and he couldn't resist getting seconds (and thirds).

"A lot of broths are kind of bland or lacking, but this broth alone was just exploding with flavor," he told me.

The dill and lemon also add some lovely brightness to the soup, which paired perfectly with the cheesy pasta. I opted for a cacio e pepe ravioli and would highly recommend it, as I loved that extra kick of pepper.

My only complaint about Garten's ravioli en brodo is that it's ruined store-bought chicken stock for me. But an extra day of work is absolutely worth this soup, which I know I'll be making forever.

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