Rice, pancetta and pea soup

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

50ml/2fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
A small bunch of mint, leaves only
2 slices of pancetta, rind removed and finely sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g/31/2oz short-grain white rice
100ml/31/2fl oz dry white wine
1 litre/13/4 pints chicken stock
150g/5oz shelled peas
100g/31/2oz freshly grated Parmesan
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
A little extra-virgin olive oil to finish

Warm a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat then pour in the oil and add the onion, garlic, mint leaves and pancetta. Turn the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and a little pepper. Turn the heat up slightly and add the rice, stirring well to combine. Pour in the wine and allow to reduce by a third. Add the chicken stock, turn the heat once again to low, place a lid on the pan and cook for 20 minutes, by which time the rice should be tender. If the stock evaporates before the rice is cooked, simply add a little water.

Once the rice is tender, add the peas and cook for 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning – it will need salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the Parmesan and parsley, stir once more and ladle into warm soup plates. Drizzle with a little oil and serve with warm, crusty bread and a simple green salad.

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