Ten-Minute Risotto & Five-Minute Cream Soup


Fancy. Time-consuming, Complicated…all words that come to mind. But is it? Risotto is creamy rice. Fancy? I’d say comforting like soup or mashed potatoes! It cooks in twenty minutes; time-consuming? I don’t think so! And complicated? You saute onions, add the rice, and cook for twenty minutes while gradually adding stock and stirring. Oh…my.

Here is what’s so difficult about risotto…the misconception that it’s difficult! Honestly, I will acknowledge fear about getting the texture right and how easy it is to screw up because that almost soup-like creaminess is what makes risotto, not the fact that you used Arborio rice. I mean, I used sushi rice after running out a few times! However…even if your rice ends up thick and softer than it’s supposed to, it will be delicious and so very satisfying! So, I’m here to say, make risotto! Make it plain, make it with tomato sauce, bits of buttercup squash, loads of roasted garlic and fresh herbs. You’ll never look back! And, on top of that, your life will be made easier because, in one batch of risotto, you can end up with the base for ten-minute risotto and some of the creamiest, most flavorful, five-minute soup you can make.

How, you ask? Easily…

First we’ll start with the ten-minute risotto. I found this tip in a book by Jamie Oliver and was so excited! Basically, you cook risotto to the halfway point, which is about ten minutes and four to five ladles of stock. You then pour it out onto a sheet pan, spreading evenly, and immediately put it in the fridge to stop the rice from cooking further. After it has completely cooled, you can transfer it to a container for storage. When you want to cook it later in the week, simply put it in a pan with a ladle of warm stock and gently heat it to temperature, allowing it to mostly absorb that ladleful before finishing it with three to four more! In about ten minutes you have freshly made risotto with the same texture as if you’d never stopped in the first place. This is a great idea if you want to make it for a gathering since risotto must be served immediately lest you chance the rice absorbing every bit of liquid and becoming mushy. Even better, though, busy people, like me, can have a family meal (since risotto is truly a main course!) or side dish finished in ten minutes. What I Iike to do is start a full batch of risotto and refrigerate half of it for later, leaving me with the other half to eat that night. Half a batch is a full meal for two people, so that works perfectly for Billy and I.

What if I don’t save half of it in this manner, though, and end up with a load of leftovers? As flavorful as it is, I don’t really want to eat the equivalent of mashed rice…so what I do is portion it and throw it in the fridge or freezer. Then, whenever I like, I have nearly instant, effortless, creamy soup. I take the risotto and put it in a pot with some stock. Once they’ve warmed up, I puree them together with an immersion blender (you can use a blender or food processor, though) and add more liquid or risotto, if necessary, until I have the consistency I desire. I eyeball the measurements because everybody likes theirs differently.

It’s so easy, though…I come home from work for a half hour break and do this! The mixture heats up (in minutes) while I feed the baby and I need only a minute to puree it before putting it in a thermos and heading back to the office. That’s how simple and fast. And the flavor…It tastes just like the risotto! So, you can have onion soup, roasted vegetable, tomato and basil, sweet potato…your options are endless and all absolutely wonderful. In my opinion, this is as easy as canned soup, but better tasting and worlds healthier, especially if you make risotto as I usually do—sans butter or parmesan. I actually prefer the taste without them; the butter is too rich for me. Plus, I make it several times a week, so it’s just plain healthier!

To get you started on what I can only imagine is a path to addiction…I’ve provided a base recipe with ideas for variation. Enjoy and don’t be daunted! 
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