serves: 8 servings
This is the soup you must try when in doubt how to begin a meal. It is simple, quick, tasty and light.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
2 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled and coarsely shredded
2 stalks celery , trimmed and diced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
10 cups chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long-grain white rice
½ cup Italian parsley, freshly chopped
¼ cup Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
In a deep, heavy 4 to 5- quart pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Most likely, the potatoes will stick, that is fine. Adjust the level of heat to prevent the bits of potato that stick from getting too dark. Stir in the carrots and celery and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the carrots are softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt.
Add tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Add hot stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, scraping up the bits of potato that stick to the pot. Adjust the level of heat to a simmer and season the soup lightly with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes begin to fall apart, about 40 minutes.
Stir in the rice. Cook, stirring well, until the rice is tender but still firm, about 12 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves. Stir the parsley into the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in warm soup bowls, sprinkled with the grated cheese.