Spinach and Rice Soup

From Rob Miller/Bloodshot Records

Makes about a half-gallon

[Ed: This rich, creamy soup is deceptively simple and eminently satisfying. It can be, says Rob, “As zesty as you want to make it [and is] an excellent soup to make the day before serving. Call it ‘Zuppa di Spinaci e Risotto’ if you’re looking to impress your friends or make it sound fancier.”]

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds of fresh spinach, thoroughly rinsed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 (normal human) thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 fresh cayenne peppers (If you like it milder use just one, if’n you like it SPICY use Thai bird’s eye peppers.), finely chopped. Use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Trust me—learn from my mistakes.
1 red pepper, cored, chopped and thinly sliced
1/2 cup + arborio (risotto) rice
5 cups chicken or turkey stock (can substitute vegetable stock, if so inclined)
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Preparation

Wilt the spinach in a large pot with a pinch of some sea salt. Drain well and SAVE THE LIQUID!

Chop the spinach finely until it is kind of a coarse puree. (Don’t worry, it’ll taste better than it looks at this point.)

Heat the oil in the pot using medium/low heat. Add the ginger, cayenne peppers, and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until odors are released. Add the rice and coat thoroughly.

Add the stock and saved spinach water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes.

Add the spinach, red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste; stir. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes more, until the rice is tender.

Serve with grated Pecorino on top.

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