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Spinach and Rice Soup

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Serves: 4
675g / 1 1/2 lb fresh spinach, washed
45ml / 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
115g / 4 oz risotto rice
1.2 litres / 2 pints vegetable stock
salt and ground black pepper
60ml / 4 tbsp grated Pecorino cheese, to serve

Place the spinach in a large pan with just the water that clings to its leaves after washing. Add a large pinch of salt. Heat gently until the spinach has wilted, then remove from the heat and drain, reserving any liquid. Chop finely. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion, garlic and chilli for 4-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the rice until well coated, then pour in the stock and reserved spinach liquid.

Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 5-7 minutes more, until the rice is tender. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve with the Pecorino cheese.

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