- 675 g / 1½ lb fresh spinach leaves, washed
- 45 ml / 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small fresh red chili, seeded and finely chopped
- 225 g / 8 oz / generous 1 cup risotto rice
- 1.2 litres / 2 pints / 5 cups vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- shavings of pared Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, to serve
- Place the spinach in a large pan with just the water that clings to its leaves after washing. Add a large pinch of salt. Heat gently until the spinach has wilted, then remove from the heat and drain, reserving any liquid.
- Either chop the spinach finely using a large kitchen knife, or place in a food processor and process the leaves to a fairly coarse puree.
You can substitute Swiss chard for the spinach, if you like.
Buy Parmesan or Pecorino cheese in the piece from a reputable supplier, and it will be full of flavor and easy to grate or shave with a vegetable peeler.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic and chili and cook gently for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the rice until well coated, then pour in the stock and reserved spinach liquid. Bring to the boil, lower the heat ,and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the soup for a further 5-7 minutes, until the rice is tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Ladle into heated bowls, top with the shavings of Parmesan or Pecorino, and serve immediately.