Actually cooked some food this evening, real food, from scratch.  Risotto, throwing in some random stuff that I hoped would be nice (shallots, grated parmesan, two leeks, smoked pancetta cubes, garlic, chestnut mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms).  Turned out really well, such a simple thing, but it’s so good that I actually felt like making something for a change.  Of course, I’m still making batches of The Soup, made some more last week, although this batch is so thick I can’t really put it into a cup, so I just eat it from the plastic container.

It did get me wondering about the actual difference between a soup, stew and broth though.  I read about, and there are some differences between soups and stews.


  • can be eaten hot, cold, cooked or uncooked depending on the ingredients
  • usually thin and plentiful liquid content
  • soups are usually made in a reasonably short amount of time
  • usually eaten as a starter / appetizer in a multi-course meal


  • almost always eaten hot
  • thickened liquid, more like a gravy
  • often ‘stewed’ for longer, as the name suggests
  • more often eaten as a main course due to their more hearty content

Based on that, I’ve been making lentil stew, not soup.  Takes about 6 hours to make for a start and it’s now so thick that it doesn’t pour, in fact, if you dollop it onto a plate it retains it’s shape (not all batches are this thick).  Lentils, potatoes, leeks, shallots, swede, gammon or ham, carrots all stewed for a few hours.  I guess I could blend it after all that and put more water in it and it would be a soup!  But then of course it wouldn’t be as delicious and hearty as it is with all the lovely big lumps of vegetables.

A broth on the other hand is the liquid component of soup, or a soup made from boiling ingredients which are then removed.  I think.

So anyway, back to my risotto, the suggested portion size was 75g of rice per person, but I only really knew how much liquid to use for around 300g of rice (so four portions).  So I thought I’d make that much and freeze some.  Whacked in random amounts of everything else until it looked about right, and then we ate it all.  Mostly because it was delicious and mostly because Grete left some, and mostly because I was hungry.  But here’s the thing, what do you eat with risotto?  I would have eaten less if I’d been able to work out what to have it with rather than just eating a huge bowl of it.

Oh, and a few hours on my blood sugar was fine, so it looks reasonably good GI/GL (which I suspected), but I’m getting a bit peckish now.

And another thing, what fresh herbs would you have put into that?  I’m not really clever with fresh herbs and what works well, so what would have gone with mushrooms, leeks, pancetta?  Not too overpowering, but some subtle hint of taste would have been nice.

One thought on “Risotto”

  1. Not sure I would have put any herbs in Tony – since you already some strongish flavours going on with the garlic, the parmesan and so on. But maybe some Basil … or a very little Oregano. Hmm, yes roughly chopped basil leaves might have been nice as a garnish.

    Risotto – in my experience is often a small portion starter or a larger portion main course.

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