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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 cup orzo
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the celery, shallot, mint and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook until the vegetables are translucent and fragrant but not colored, about 5 minutes. Stir in the orzo and lettuce.
2. Pour in the stock or water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir the soup to be sure the orzo don't stick, then partially cover and simmer until the orzo are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Serve the soup hot or warm, passing the cheese at the table. Soup can be frozen, without the cheese, for up to 2 months.