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Author Notes: A simple soup from Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal.
The key to the success of this soup is to use a flavorful stock. I first made it with 1 quart of homemade chicken stock + 5 cups of water — the stock was super flavorful, so diluting it with water was fine. I then made it with 8 cups of homemade vegetable stock and 1 cup of water. This is my favorite recipe for vegetable stock — I thinks leeks are critical to a good vegetable (or any) stock.
Romaine heads come in all sizes — I've been using 1 head from one of those 3 packs you find at the grocery store. If you are buying an individual head of Romaine, that is fine, too — I haven't measured, but the original recipe calls for about 16 cups of loosely packed, sliced Romaine.
Escarole or spinach or other greens can be used in place of the Romaine, though I highly recommend you giving Romaine a go.
If you have a parmesan rind on hand, add it to the pot along with the broth. —Alexandra Stafford
Serves 4 to 6
- 3 cups diced onions, from about 3 small onions
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 8 to 9 cups vegetable or chicken stock, homemade is best, see notes above
- 1 head Romaine lettuce, cut into fine ribbons, see notes above
- good olive oil for serving
- Cook the onions in the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste. When they're softened, about 5 to 7 minutes later, add the parsley. Then add the rice and liquid. If using lightly seasoned homemade stock, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Otherwise, adjust with salt at the end.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour until the rice is completely cooked through. Then continue to cook for another 20 minutes until the rice looks jagged around the edges. Turn off the heat.
- When you're ready to eat, warm up the soup, add the lettuce, and mix thoroughly. If soup is super thick, thin with more water (or more stock if you have it), stir and simmer until you have the consistency you desire. Drizzle each serving with good olive oil. Crack more pepper over top if you wish.