|CLASSIC pasta||risi e bisi -- rice and pea soup|
Obviously, fresh peas in the spring are ideal for this wonderful soup. But
frozen peas work fine.
(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.