Sometimes decadence is important. And this leek risotto is decadent. And important.
Don’t get us wrong – we eat healthy food all the time, and know the incredible value of it. It’s imperative to our well-being and health. Nutrition is something we take seriously, and indeed, pride ourselves on.
And sometimes we know when to just focus on the sheer enjoyment of food. After many years of eating veggie and an arsenal of hundreds of great recipes, it’s awesome to just sit down and enjoy a comforting meal.
We also know that some people miss meat, or that they’re cooking for partners and families who still eat meat, but want to make a meal they’ll all enjoy. This leek risotto is one of those meals.
Let’s speed things up
It’s also true that time is often limited, and not everybody wants to spend hours in the kitchen on a single recipe. We love finding ways to hurry the food up whenever we can, and risotto is one place it’s very possible.
Contrary to popular belief, and as we found out in this great experiment, the broth does not need to be ladled in one spoon at a time. You can throw it all in (or nearly all in) at the beginning and move on to other tasks.
Don’t have any? That’s ok! We’re not saying cheddar cheese must be added to this recipe, but it really is awesome when sprinkled on top of the finished risotto. Naughty, but excellent.
Cheddar cheese is also one of the cheeses most likely to contain microbial (or artificial) rennet, as opposed to animal rennet. Animal rennet is a horrible ingredient taken from the stomach of slain baby animals (usually a cow) and something we try to avoid at all costs. It’s always worth checking the packaging.
Ok, any more tips for this leek risotto?
Yep, one more. A good risotto falls on its flavours and the herbs here are paramount. We also understand it’s not always practical or cost-effective to buy fresh herbs (or indeed a plant) for each herb you need. We highly recommend keeping a good stock of dried herbs around – or even frozen ones. Frozen tend to keep their flavour well and last for aaaaaages in the freezer. So many recipes can be levelled up by choosing and using the right herbs.
If you’re struggling to go vegetarian or vegan and need more tips on what to look out for then check our 30 Day Challenges. Go here for Veggie and here for Vegan. We make both routes easy and will show you all the traps to avoid!
Comforting Leek Risotto with Cream Cheese
- 1 cup risotto rice
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 leek
- 1 medium onion
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup peas, frozen
- ¾ cup cream (¾ cup = 200ml)
- ¾ cup cream cheese (¾ cup = 150g)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian) (make sure to check for a no-fish version)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp basil, fresh
- 2 tbsp parsley, fresh
- 2 tbsp oregano, fresh (for all the herbs, dried or frozen are fine if fresh are unavailable)
- 1 cup white wine (mega tasty)
- ½ cup cheddar cheese (for garnish, mega tasty)
- Give the rice a quick rinse – we don’t need this one too starchy.
- Slice the leek and onion and fry in olive oil in a big pan on medium heat for about 5 Minutes.
- Add the risotto rice and fry for another 2 minutes.
- If using, throw in the white wine and stir until dissolved.
- Add ¾ of the veggie broth. Let everything cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is ready. If it goes dry before the rice is ready, add more broth.
- When the rice is ready, turn the heat off. Add the frozen peas, cream and cream cheese, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and basil, parsley and oregano. Give it a good stir making sure all is mixed together well.
- Turn the heat back and cook on a med-high heat for another 5 minutes. This gives a chance for the sauce to become thick, and the flavours to fully come out. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just don’t let it burn – stir occasionally!
- Serve with a little cheddar sprinkled on the top for extra deliciousness.