Having some more Italian (flat-leaf) parsley in my fridge, not an easy find in Vancouver, and looking for something quick to make for dinner, I naturally went back to my childhood for a dish where parsley is the absolute star of the show: a simple soup of rice and parsley. I remember very well my grandma making this dish in the summer, especially when there was a storm approaching and the parsley in the orchard had to be cut quickly so that it wouldn’t get mangled by the rain.
Like for most northern Italian preparations (Pizzoccheri, for instance), this dish is almost unknown outside of its region of origin. For this reason, for the first time in this blog, I decided to mention in the title the dish’s name in Lombard dialect: “ris” (rice, or “riso” in Italian) “e” (and) “erburin” (literally ‘little herbs’, referring to parsley, or “prezzemolo” in Italian). Certainly, that’s how my grandma called it!
This soup can definitely be considered an example of Cucina Povera (“Cuisine of the Poor”) for it simplicity and its affordable ingredients. However, the version that I’m illustrating below (adapted from SaleDolce) is slightly more “decadent” thanks to the generous use of Parmigiano and of butter.
- 3 cups light meat stock or flavorful vegetables and herbs stock
- ½ cup Carnaroli rice (other medium-grain rices can also be used)
- 1 ½ oz Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- ¾ oz unsalted butter
- 1 bunch of fresh Italian (flat-leaf), parsley (should yield over 1 oz of leaves)
- Bring the stock to a boil, then cook the rice for 15 minutes at medium-low heat.
- Wash and dry the parsley, then rip off the leaves and finely mince them.
- When the rice is ready, take it off the heat and stir in the butter, Parmigiano and parsley.
- Mix gently and serve in bowls, optionally sprinkled with more grated Parmigiano.