CLASSIC pasta risi e bisi -- rice and pea soup
         

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Obviously, fresh peas in the spring are ideal for this wonderful soup. But frozen peas work fine.

ingredients:

  • two tablespoons sweet butter
  • three tablespoons olive oil
  • one medium onion, diced
  • three cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • one teaspoon ginger, chopped fine
  • one pound of fresh peas, or one 10-ounce package of frozen peas
  • one-half cup celery, finely chopped
  • one-quarter cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ten to twelve cups of chicken stock
  • one cup arborio rice
  • one-half cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

(the ginger is not authentic, but it does add a lovely extra taste)

Heat the butter and the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan like a Dutch oven. As soon as the butter is melted, add the onion. Cook, and stir, until the onion becomes transparent. Add the ginger and garlic. Cook for another minute; the garlic should start to sizzle.

Add the celery, and two minutes later add the peas. Add a quarter teaspoon salt and some freshly ground pepper. Cook about three to four minutes: the peas should still be firm, but not raw. Add ten cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduced the heat to a light simmer. Cook for ten minutes.

Add the rice, stir well, and cook on a medium-low heat for ten more minutes. Adjust for stock. The soup should have a liquid element to it, obviously, so if it is getting too thick, add more stock. Check the rice to make sure it is properly done.

Remove from the heat. Add the cheese. Stir. Check for salt and pepper, and serve.


 

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