April 25 is the Feast Day for the patron saint of Venice, St. Mark. As a forward to the recipe, Marcella mentions how this soup was enjoyed on this day of celebration. The anniversary of the 1945 fall of Mussolini's Italian Social Republic, Italy’s Liberation, falls on the same day.
I will admit I was not excited to make this recipe. I do not like peas. My lack of enthusiasm worsened as I began to shell the peas. Shelling peas is absolutely my least favorite culinary activity. Well enough about me. Let’s talk about this soup, Rice and Peas. I followed the recipe carefully. This simple soup is a combination of fresh young peas, butter, onion, Arborio rice, and homemade beef broth. I tried hard to stir up some excitement as I stirred the pot. The smell that perfumed the air as it simmered helped a great deal. The soup was ready in about 30 minutes. A little parmigiano-reggiano cheese was mixed in before ladling up a bowl for lunch.
I liked it. Yes, I could taste the peas. But the wonderful undertone of the broth with the slight saltiness of the cheese and chewiness of the rice made it worth eating.
Rice and Peas Soup
©2010 Irene D. Ericson