Welcome to Part Nine of my Favorite Food Bloggers Series!
Karen writes one of my most favorite food blogs, Soup Addict. I mean, come on, how can you not love the name! Anyways, Karen is a tech writer by trade who lives in Cincinnati. In addition to being a fabulous and passionate cook and baker, she is also a gardener and writes about this venture at times.
Karen is devoted to seasonal cooking, something I’m passionate about and am getting to know more and more. She often shops at farmer’s markets and is committed to knowing where her food comes from. So I really love and respect her blog’s overall “thesis”, if you will.
But beyond that, Karen’s personality and writing will no doubt draw you in. She is a very skilled yet inviting writer, and she tells the most entertaining stories from time to time. So even though not everyone has the time, space, or desire to garden, and not everyone has access to a good farmer’s market, Karen’s blog is accessible to anyone who loves to cook. Her recipes are inspiring and drool-worthy, with lots of emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, and many vegetarian dishes. She develops most of her own recipes for the blog, and I think she’s one of the more thoughtful recipe creators out there. I always learn a lot just from reading the recipes themselves.
Another thing that really drew me in to Soup Addict is that it is a blog for people who truly love to cook, and find the idea of spending several hours in the kitchen a treat rather than a chore. Of course, we don’t have time for that every day, but I just love having her site as a resource for really good “project” recipes.
Yet despite having said all that, the recipe of hers I chose to make wasn’t terribly complicated or difficult to pull off; nor was it a soup (and yes, part of me does feel that maybe I should have chosen a soup, given her blog’s name and all, but this risotto was just too tempting). It was ridiculously delicious, creative, and a departure from the usual Italian-themed risotto recipes out there. The cheddar made the final dish almost silky in texture. It was rich but not over-powering, and just very lush – so good!! I highly recommend! And if you haven’t already, please do check out Karen’s terrific blog.
Source: slightly adapted from Soup Addict
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
2 baby or wild leeks (or spring onions), thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup sharp cheddar, finely grated
1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
Warm the vegetable stock in a small stockpot until you just see bubbles at the edges; do not boil. Keep the heat on low.
Melt the butter and oil in a medium pan over medium heat until shimmering. Cook the leeks (or onions) until softened (about 3 to 4 minutes).
Add the rice and stir for a minute or so, until the grains are coated in oil. Add the wine, saffron, mustard and paprika and simmer, stirring all the while, until the wine is absorbed by the rice.
Begin ladling in the hot broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more. Continue until the rice is al dente and the dish is creamy (but not soupy), 18 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in both cheeses until melted and well-incorporated. Spoon the risotto into shallow bowls and dust tops lightly with additional paprika, if desired.