This was one of those days when the dog takes up the whole couch. It rains all day and the sky darkens two hours earlier than it’s supposed to. I didn’t want to cook, but made a deal — in return for a cocktail, I would make soup from items in the pantry and fridge that, really, needed to be used anyway. But once the flavors of the mirepoix started to scent the air, it just seemed like a good idea to toss the rice and beans in, toast them a bit with spices, and turn the soup into risotto.
Rice and Sprouted Bean Risotto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup (50 g) onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (190 g) arborio rice
1 cup (180 g) dried, sprouted bean mix (like TruRoots Organic 3-bean trio)
1 dried bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
1 cup (240 mL) dry white wine
5 cups (1.25 L) water + more as needed
1 teaspoon stock concentrate (beef or vegetable flavor)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups (250 g) (packed) kale, chopped
2 oz. (60 g) grated gruyere cheese + more for garnish
kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, carrots, salt, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, garam masala and thyme, and cook over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender and the onions are just beginning to turn golden brown.
Meanwhile, mix the stock concentrate with the water and maintain just below a simmer in a separate pot.
Add the rice and beans to the pot with the onions and spices and stir, coating everything in the butter, and allowing to toast just slightly. Keep stirring so nothing burns.
When the vegetable/rice mixture is just barely dry and beginning to stick, turn the heat to medium-high and pour in the wine to deglaze the pot. Stir constantly and when the wine is mostly absorbed and the pot is almost dry again, begin to add the stock mixture one cup at a time, stirring frequently. Allow the mixture to absorb most of the liquid before adding more. Once the last of the stock is used, check for doneness and stir in extra water as needed to finish cooking the rice and beans.
Turn the heat to low and stir in the vinegar, soy sauce, kale and cheese; season well with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm and with extra shredded gruyere for garnish.