Thursday, May 24, 2007

Spring Minestrone with Brown Rice

From the book Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

I was reading the free magazine, "edible San Francisco," when I ran across this delicious looking, asparagus filled minestrone recipe. I can't wait to try this one out! Yummmm...

Serves 4

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup medium-grain brown basmati rice, rinsed
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half diagonally
8 spears asparagus, trimmed and diagonally sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the shallots and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until soft.
Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add the stock and bring to a boil.
Cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the rice is just tender, 35 to 45 minutes.

Add the sugar snap peas, asparagus, and green peas, and season with a few healthy pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes and serve immediately; this way the vegetables stay crisp and bright.

1) For an Asian-inspired soup, Heidi suggests adding a couple handfuls of edamame in place of the peas and finish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.
2) For a more traditional Italian-style minestrone, substitute shelled fava beans for the peas and finish with a bit of shaved Parmesan, lemon zest, and shredded basil.

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