Braised lettuce, pea and wild rice soup

Have you ever made lettuce soup? It is so good. Lettuce is such an overlooked ingredient when it comes to anything other than salad or sandwiches. I used to make a side dish of braised lettuce and peas when cooking for a big lunch or dinner. This soup is a little upgrade to that dish.

This little lettuce soup is so simple and fresh and makes for a great light meal all year round. I usually make it when I have lots of little bits left in the fridge at the end of the week. It uses a handful of each ingredient and comes together in 20 minutes total!

I find that I usually have a rather limp forgotten about lettuce (and broccoli) at the back of the fridge by the end of the week. This is a great way to use these poor little unloved ingredients up before they end up in the compost bin.

BRAISED LETTUCE, PEA AND WILD RICE SOUP

This recipe is for 2 people. I find that having leftovers, that the rice just goes too mushy and it isn’t as fresh and lovely as when eaten straight after cooking.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 small shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100 g Baby Gem or Cos lettuce
  • 40 g mixed long grain and wild rice
  • 1 pint of hot stock, chicken or vegetable
  • small handful of broccoli
  • 120 g frozen peas
  • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

THE HOW

In a large saucepan, heat the sunflower oil. Add the thinly sliced shallots and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat until they start to brown. Add in the crushed garlic. Heat for 30 seconds to allow the garlic to start to release its flavour. Remove the onion and garlic from the pan.

Slice the baby gem lettuce into roughly 1/2 cm slices. Add this to the saucepan and braise on high heat for 30 seconds, until it starts to brown and wilt.

To the pot, add the olive oil. Throw in the rice and stir to coat the rice in the oil. Throw back in the onion and garlic and add the hot stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 8 minutes. Wild rice takes a little longer to cook than normal rice. Follow the guidelines on your rice packet, and test the rice after the 8 minutes. It should have a good bite to it but not be crunchy and hard. If it is still hard, cook a little longer. My rice cooked to ‘al dente’ in about 8 minutes, with the next step included, total cook time for the rice was 10 minutes.

Throw in the broccoli and the peas just as the rice is almost cooked and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Spoon into bowls and scatter some Parmesan on top.

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