Lettuce and Orzo Soup
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter1 celery stalk, thinly sliced1 shallot, chopped1/2 teaspoon dried mintSalt1/2 cup orzo6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced crosswise1/2 cup chopped fresh parsleyFreshly ground black pepper1/4 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.