0 In Culture Corner

Recipe: Asparagus, Pancetta and Rice Soup

I keep a haphazard box of recipes for future reference, a few neatly printed on cards sent from home, recipes my mother and grandmother have been making for years. Most, though, are recipes I’ve torn out of magazines with good intentions to cook them one rainy afternoon. Occasionally I’ll dip in for inspiration like I did recently and pull out something like this Asparagus, Pancetta and Rice Soup that I found in a UK Red magazine not too long ago. Turned out to be worth sharing!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 50ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 slices of pancetta or smoked bacon cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 100g rice
  • 1.5L chicken stock
  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 75g grated parmesan cheese
  • Medium sized bunch of parsley

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Start by heating the butter and olive oil in a large soup pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the onion, thyme and some salt and pepper. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often so the onions don’t burn!

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Add the pancetta and garlic and cook for five more minutes.

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Next, pour in the rice and stir so it’s well coated. Then it’s time to add the stock.

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Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and pop a lid on top. Leave it to cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is ready. While it’s cooking, snap off the woody asparagus ends and chop this into small pieces. You’ll want to add this to the rice for the last three minutes of cooking along with the parmesan and parsley. Make sure you stir well. You may also want to add in a touch more salt and lots of black pepper to taste.

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Drizzle a bit of extra olive oil on top to serve.

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We also had some salad…

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…olives…

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…and what is soup without bread for dipping?

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It was pretty delicious as it was, but next time I might add more asparagus, a bit more rice and maybe some peas to bulk it up a bit. I’ll definitely make it again!

Do you have a favorite soup recipe? Leave me a link in the comments. I’d love to try it!

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