Tuesday 20 November 2007

Easy Peasy Spring Risotto Soup

It’s been a long time since I last blogged. Life has been tough and I have not had much energy for food or blogging. But when I start following recipes again, there is hope.

So I will ease myself back into my blog with possibly the only recipe I followed over the last few months. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants an easy, challenge-free meal to prepare. It is a variation on a recipe from the Good Weekend Magazine of the Age newspaper (Saturday 20 Oct 2007, p 60) by Terry Durack.

I made this recipe again last week. One of the attractions for me is that it is easier than my usual way of making risotto. I usually add the hot water gradually and do a lot of stirring, but this method is just a matter of pouring in the hot water and simmering for 15 minutes. I probably appreciate this even more, having had some headaches (many years ago) in working out how to make risotto without taking hours. Terry Durack says it is like a cross between a soup and a risotto but both times I have found it is much more risotto than soup.

I have used pinenuts instead of pancetta, and failed to get either fresh peas or broadbeans, so just used frozen peas – and I added a few more peas and asparagus the second time around. But it was pleasing to be able to find asparagus is now abundant and cheap now that spring has come (and almost gone).

Update November 2023: I still make this soup from time to time.  The top photo is a recent photo.  Other photos are from the original blogpost in 2007.

Spring risotto soup
Serves 4
(adapted from a recipe by Terry Durack)

1 medium onion, halved and sliced
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp olive oil (I used chilli olive oil)
200g (1 cup) Arborio rice
1.2 litres of vegie stock, heated
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 small bundles asparagus spears
Small handful of broccoli (optional)
4 tbsp parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
2 tbsp pinenuts

Heat the butter and margarine in a large saucepan. Add sliced onion and cook til softened (approx 4-6 mins). Add rice and stir to coat with oil. Add hot stock and simmer for 15 minutes til tender. Stir occasionally.

While the rice is simmering, prepare vegetables. Break the woody ends off asparagus and chop into 2-4cm lengths. If you want to add a bit of broccoli (I did because I had some leftover), cut it up finely and add to asparagus. Cook asparagus and broccoli til just tender – I microwaved it on high for 2 minutes.

Place pinenuts in a small frypan and heat gently til starting to brown. Stir frequently.

When rice is tender, a lot of the water will be absorbed. Add asparagus, peas and broccoli. Cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently to stop rice sticking to bottom of saucepan.

Serve with parmesan, pinenuts and parsley (I forgot about parsley when I made it but will try and remember in future).

On the Stereo:
Cobra Verde – Popul Vuh


  1. Welcome back! This risotto looks lovely - I've never been a fan of frozen peas but have recently taken a liking to the fresh ones that appear in spring.

  2. Johanna, welcome back! Have been missing your lovely post... Hope things are better with you now!

    I love this risotto. Pea and risotto are my fav combination.

  3. Hi Johanna, nice to see you back, although sorry to hear it's been tough for you recently.

    I get the SMH this weekend, which is also Fairfax, but can't remember having seen this recipe. What a good idea - the no-stir risotto. I think we might have this for dinner tonight. Thanks for posting it.

  4. thanks Cindy, I love the idea of fresh peas but it is hard to get myself organised to have them whereas frozen peas are so convenient to have on hand!

    thanks Anh, it feels good to do a bit of cooking again! And risotto and peas are both great comfort food for me.

    thanks Kathryn - hope you do get to make it tonight or sometime, and that you enjoy it - and thanks for reminding me that I had meant to put a date on the reference - have amended this now - it is from some weeks ago.

  5. Hi there Johanna,
    Lovely to have you back!
    Hope you are ok, I was wondering where you were!

  6. Welcome back, Johanna. It's lovely to read one of your posts again. And if there's one thing that's always in my freezer, it's peas!
    Hope very much that life's getting better for you.

  7. So good to see you back - you've been missed, my dear.

    Isn't it funny that the newer, slimmer Mr Durack is writing such a lovely, light recipe? He used to be the duck fat man if I remember correctly.

    Love peas; what a gorgeous, simple method!

  8. thanks Holler - it is nice to be back on my blog

    thanks Wendy - frozen peas are a staple in my freezer too

    thanks Lucy - I have missed my blog and my fellow bloggers - I don't remember Terry Durack doing duck fat but I can tell you I much prefer his newer recipes :-)

  9. Even though this is my first visit, welcome back. Life does have its ups and downs that's for sure, but we hope there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Great recipe!

  10. Johanna, made this last night. What a fabulous recipe and I loved the final risotto. I used a bit of fetta instead of parmesan and toasted some almonds for on top. But otherwise made to your instructions.

    I couldn't stop myself from continually going to check if it was okay! But it works brilliantly.

  11. thanks Foodie Princess - hope you enjoy the blog!

    thanks Kathryn - it is a great recipe - fetta and almonds sound like a good variation - will keep that in mind as I am sure I will make it again.

  12. She's back! I'm so glad to see you in "print" again. Sorry it's been tough for you lately; nearly all of us go through these patches. An easy risotto is just the ticket for these times, rice being one of the ultimate comfort foods. This looks like a highly adjustable recipe based on cook's preference and pantry supplies.

  13. thanks Susan - rice is most definitely comfort food - and yes, I would like to try this recipe with other vegetables some time!


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