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Herb And Rice Soup With Pesto

ingredients

Approx. 7 oz (200 g) mixed herbs and wild or cultivated
salad leaves (e.g. fresh borage, basil, marjoram, a little fresh sage, Swiss chard, curly endive)
7 oz (200 g) rice
5 tbsp pesto (basil sauce)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese
salt

method

1. Rinse the borage and the other herbs and the leaf vegetables well, take the leaves off their stalks and cut all but the smallest into thin strips. Put them in a saucepan with 2 pints (1.2 litres) water and 1 tsp salt; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Make the pesto (if fresh basil is unavailable, buy the pesto ready-made) and mix it with 3 tbsp of the herb broth before adding the rice.

3. Turn up the heat and allow the herb soup to come to the boil; sprinkle in the rice, stir and boil over a moderate heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

4. When the rice is just tender, stir in half the pesto mixture and 1 tbsp of the oil and boil for a further 2 - 3 minutes.

5. Draw aside from the heat, stir in the rest of the pesto and oil, add salt to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese.

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