Lemon Rice soup
THERE IS NOTHING AS FILLING AND COMFORTING
IN THE COLD MONTHS AS A BOWL OF SOUP.
Here are 2 that always please and satisfy!
5 – 6 CUPS BROTH – chicken or your favorite, homemade or bought
2 TBS BUTTER – UNSALTED
2 EXTRA BOUILLON CUBES – as needed
½ CUP ABORIO RICE
1 LEMON – juiced and zested
BLACK PEPPER – freshly ground, to taste
SALT – to taste, as bouillon cubes can be salty
Place the broth and butter in a large stockpot and bring to a slow boil. If the broth is weak add some extra bouillon cubes to make this a very flavorful soup. Let bouillon boil long enough to dissolve the cubes, stir well and slowly add the rice. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, checking the rice for doneness after about 14-16 minutes. You want the rice to be firm, al dente, and not mushy.
Beat the eggs with the lemon juice and season lightly with salt. When the rice is done, stir in the eggs until well combined. Serve immediately and sprinkle with just a little lemon zest. In our house we would also be passing some freshly grated cheese for sprinkling.
MINESTRONE ALLA MILANESE
A minestrone from the region of Milan
3 TBS OLIVE OIL
1 GARLIC CLOVE – minced
1 ONION – large, chopped
2-3 CELERY STALKS – chopped
2 TOMATOES – peeled, seeded, chopped
2 POTATOES – peeled, diced
2 CARROTS – peeled, chopped
3 ZUCCHINI – small, chopped
1 CUP PEAS – fresh or frozen
2 CUPS NORTHERN BEANS – soaked overnight or canned, drained
1 ¾ CUPS ARBORIO RICE
SALT – to taste
A FEW RED PEPPER FLAKES – optional
1 CUP FRESH PARSLEY – chopped
1 ½ CUPS CABBAGE – chopped
FRESHLY GRATED CHEESE
FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER – to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot and then add all the ingredients with the exception of the cabbage, rice, navy beans and cheese. Sauté until everything has some color and slightly limp – about 10 minutes.
Add 2 quarts of liquid (broth or a combination of broth and water) and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for a minute or two, then lower heat and simmer for at least 2 ¼ hours.
Add the cabbage and bring back to a boil. Taste for salt and pepper and add as necessary. Add the rice and continue to boil slowly for about 15 minutes until the rice is al dente and not mushy.
Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated cheese.
NOTE: we always have crusty Italian bread ready when we have soup and this seems to complete the meal. Minestrone made in my Father’s region of Tuscany is very similar to Milanese style except that instead of rice they would add pasta.
An interesting note is that this soup is also great in summer when vegetables are fresh and it can be eaten warm or room temperature and even better the next day.