This rice and chestnut soup comes from the mountains of northern Italy and has long been a favourite of Sophie?s. This is a quick version, made with pre-cooked, vacuum-packed chestnuts that dispense with the tedium of peeling chestnuts, without sacrificing too much of the flavour. The starchiness of risotto rice makes it a marvellous addition to soups, giving a lovely creaminess that doesn?t interfere with the other ingredients.
Put the chestnuts in a pan with the herbs tied together with a length of string. Add the stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer gently, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
Now add the rice and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. Next, add the butter and milk and simmer away until the rice is just cooked but still al dente (another 10 mins or so). Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.
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