- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large russet (Idaho) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
- 2 center stalks of celery, trimmed and diced
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 10 cups Chicken Stock or Meat Stock
- 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
- Pinch peperoncini (crushed red pepper)
- 2 cups blanched and shelled fava beans or one 10-ounce package frozen baby lima
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
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. 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, bay leaves and peperoncino. 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. Add the favas or limas. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
Stir in the rice. Cook, stirring well, until the rice is tender but still firm, about 12 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Stir the parsley into the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup in warm bowls, sprinkled with the grated cheese.