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Radicchio and Shrimp Soup with Rice

April 27, 2010

Every week or so, Mark Bittman writes another column and produces a short video segment for the New York Times under his culinary pseudonym, The Minimalist. Those of you who have read this blog for a while will recognize that many of the dishes that I prepare on a regular basis come straight from either the Minimalist column or from his cookbook, modestly titled The Best Recipes in the World.

Tonight’s quick meal is no exception. After having watched his video on a soup made from bitter greens, rice, and water, I thought I’d make my own version, enhancing the flavors a bit and making it a bit heartier for a springtime supper.

A thoughts: radicchio (and the escarole Bittman uses) is quite bitter. If bitter’s not your thing, swiss chard or even spinach could be used in this recipe, though the cooking times would have to be adjusted. I like the bitterness of the greens though, and encourage you to try them. It cooks up in 20 minutes, makes plenty of leftovers, and is just really good.

Radicchio and Shrimp Soup with Rice
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s The Minimalist

1 slice of bacon
1/2 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Scant 1/2 c. short grain white rice, such as arborio
1/4 c. dry white wine.
1 head radicchio, cleaned and coarsely chopped (about 3-4 cups)
6 c. good chicken broth or stock
1 c. small shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

  • In a dutch oven or large, deep saute pan, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add bacon and fry until fat is rendered. Reserve the bacon (minced) as garnish.
  • Add onions and saute for a minute or two until translucent. Add garlic and continue to saute for 30 seconds more. Add rice and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add white wine and stir until absorbed. Then add greens and stock, sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and cover.
  • Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the greens and rice are both tender.
  • Add shrimp and cover until shrimp are cooked through.
  • Adjust seasonings, garnish with bacon, and serve with crusty bread.

And once I get my camera back from my friend, these photos will improve. I’ve included (probably illegally) Mark Bittman’s for comparison (his is the pretty one).

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