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La Soup au Riz à la Parisienne

(French rice soup)

Soft and digesible, bland but tasty, this is Paris' answer to la guele de bois--that "wooden mouth" you get when you pour too much alcohol through it. The soup replaces liquids, settles the stomach, and psychologically--so reminiscent of baby food--pats you on the head and gives you a cuddle. Serve to 4 party-hardy friends and reap their praise and thanks.

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 medium leeks, white part only, quartered lengthwise, washed thoroughly, and minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup raw rice, washed and scrubbed to remove its starch
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into a small dice
  • 3 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and scrape in leeks. Partially cover and sweat the leeks over low heat until they are clear and soft.

Pour in the water, salt, and rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer for about 30 more minutes, so the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Stir in the parsley, cover, and remove from the heat, allowing the parsley to steep for at least 5 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve at once.