I used the broth from my broccoli chicken soup plus a technique I first read about on the blog Ideas in Food to make a delicious, creamy risotto in only 6 minutes with just a few stirs. Alex and Aki describe soaking the rice in water to hydrate for 2 hours to reduce cooking time. Further in the comments there is a suggestion to soak it in the broth you intend to cook it in. Kenji Alt’s post on Serious Eats about risotto contends that the starch that thickens a risotto is mostly located on the outside of the rice, not inside the rice as is commonly thought. So I decided to combine the techniques and soak some Aborio rice in the broth from the leftover soup, then use the broth to finish the risotto with delicious results! The type of rice you use is important, it should be a rice that is suitable for a risotto like Aborio or Carnaroli which are short grained and high in starch. This recipe takes some prep time for the broth and letting the rice soak but instead of having to stir a hot pot of rice with gradual addition of liquids like traditional risottos call for, you get a creamy bowl of goodness in only six minutes with an occasional stir. It is also important to know that risottos should have a bit of “bite” to them. It should not exactly be crunchy but you should be able to feel individual grains instead of mush when you take a bite. Some people might consider it undercooked but it will actually get thicker and softer as it sits, so better to err on the side of underdone. You can also add some cream at the end but since I was using a creamy soup, I did not find that necessary.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Aborio rice
3 cups broth or soup, liquid only (you can strain out veggies and add them back with the broth when the rice is cooking)
1 Tablespoon butter, cold and in small pieces
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan
Combine rice and broth in a large bowl. Stir vigorously to agitate. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator, uncover, and stir vigorously again. Use mesh strainer to drain liquid from rice and retain liquid. Agitate rice as it drains to help release starch from the rice. Heat olive oil in a heavy 12 inch skillet. Saute rice grains in olive oil over medium high heat until rice begins to brown and smell nutty, about 5 minutes. Add all of the liquid to pan at once and bring to a boil. Time to cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rice may look too soupy and taste a bit underdone but it will quickly set up. Remove from heat and stir in cold butter and parmesan to finish.