Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Asparagus, Rice and Pancetta Soup

I am totally going through an asparagus phase at the moment. Every market I go to, they’re selling beautifully fresh, plump asparagus. Who am I to refuse these little beauties?

This soup was adapted from Skye Gyngell’s My Favourite Ingredients, which is really a beautiful cookbook. She writes cookbooks like she writes poetry. It’s great. As Skye said, this recipe is more like a wet, sloppy risotto rather than a soup. It is substantial for dinner.

Hearty Soup for 2:

  1. 8 fat asparagus, tough parts peeled back and chopped into 3 cm pieces
  2. 1.5 cups of risotto rice
  3. 1 spanish onion, finely chopped
  4. 3 slices of mild pancetta (about 80g), chopped
  5. 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  6. 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  7. 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  8. 2 slices of dried porcini or 2 dried shittake mushrooms
  9. 750 ml of hot water + 1/2 cube of Massel vegetable stock + 1 tsp of Vegeta Gourmet stock*
  10. a pinch of salt and pepper
  11. parmesan, shaved to serve

Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil and slowly fry off the onion, pancetta, sage and thyme for about 10 minutes on low heat until the onion turns clear and translucent. Add salt, rice and garlic and fry until the rice is too hot to touch. Add the stock and dried mushrooms and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add asparagus and bring back to boil for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Serve with freshly cracked pepper and shaved parmasan.

* Or use whatever light (vegetable/chicken) stock you have. I rarely do my own stock but I have started a freezer bag of off cut vegetables so once that’s full I might do up a batch of fresh stock.