Rice, peas and chicken liver soup

A desire to have a multi-day lunch option and a need to use up the rest of our chicken livers led to my search for and discovery of Marcella Hazan’s recipe for chicken liver soup with Arborio rice and peas. I love her little introductions to her recipes, but this one was especially amusing as it had a linguistic bent to it: “The Italian word for liver is fegato, with the accent falling on the first syllable…When you say fegatelli, you are talking about pork livers…Wherever you see the word fegatini, it means chicken livers.”

Recipe

from Marcella’s Italian Kitchen
Serves 4

5 cups rich homemade broth
1/2 cup shelled, fresh young peas
1/3 cup rice, preferably Italian Arborio rice
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp onion, finely chopped
3 chicken livers, rinsed, trimmed and cut into 1/3″ pieces
salt

Bring broth to a boil in a soup pot. Add peas and rice, stir and cover the pot, and turn down heat to very low. Sauté butter and onion over medium-low heat until tender and translucent. Add chicken livers and salt and turn up heat. Cook for about 1-1/2 minutes or until livers lose their raw red colour. Turn off heat and set aside. When rice is done (tender but firm, about 15-20 minutes), add in chicken livers. Let broth bubble for a few seconds. Correct for seasoning and serve.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: As I had not the time nor meat products to make my own broth, I used the canned broth I had on hand (3/4 cup beef broth, the rest chicken broth). I also couldn’t find fresh peas (that weren’t over-priced), so I went with canned sweet peas.

David declared it to be an eminently tasty soup–light and not too rich. The livers add a nice creaminess and earthiness to the dish. Nice for a lunch with a bit of bread, or as Marcella suggests, grated cheese on the side.

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