Italian Rice and Spinach Soup

From September 1, 2009:  This is a super easy and comforting soup.  You can substitute long-grained rice if you don’t have the Arborio rice.  This soup is best the day it’s made.  The rice absorbs most of the vegetable broth.  If you like your soup more brothy, add additional (hot) vegetable broth right before serving.

Italian Rice and Spinach Soup 

2 T. butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Arborio rice
5 cups vegetable broth
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach  (no need to defrost)
salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese     

Heat butter or olive oil in a 6-quart soup pot.  Add the onion and saute over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes.  Add the Arborio rice, vegetable broth and frozen spinach.  Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Once the soup has come to a boil, reduce the heat back to medium and simmer until the rice is tender, about 18 to 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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