Source: Enlightened Soups
Serves 4 – 6
While Terwilliger and I were on our honeymoon up the coast of California, I had a risotto and portobello mushroom dish for lunch that was just divine. I’ve never attempted to make risotto before, always figuring it was too complicated and ripe with failure potential. But after having that lunch risotto (which I tried to save for leftovers but ended up throwing away…sad), I wanted to attempt my own. I bought some Arborio rice and then came across this recipe, which seemed like an easy way to give this creamy rice dish a try without actually making straight-up risotto (which I haven’t done yet).
It is, in fact, really easy to make. In the recipe notes, the author mentions that it’s a good base to which to add any combination of veggies. I followed the recipe exactly (but without the saffron), and next time I think I’d add some garlic and more salt and pepper. The soup was soothing and rich without being heavy, but it wasn’t tremendously flavorful, which I think was because I went really light on the salt and pepper, and a standard white onion isn’t so much a seasoning. But this makes a pretty easy dinner served with some crusty bread, and there are definitely plenty of leftovers for an even easier dinner the next day.
1 T. olive oil
2 C. chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice and grated zest of one lemon
3/4 C. Arborio rice
1/2 C. dry white wine
5 C. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Optional: generous pinch of saffron
2 C. asparagus sliced in 1-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
1 C. frozen petite peas, unthawed
1/2 C. freshly grated fresh parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, zest, and rice. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.
Stir in the wine; cook and stir for 2 minutes, until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Stir in the broth and saffron, if using. (I didn’t use the saffron. What does saffron taste like, anyway?) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes.
Stir in asparagus and peas. Cook uncovered for 2 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Request from me: if anyone tries this and varies the veggies and spices, please share in the comments what you did! I do think this is a really good base for experimentation.