Mud soup and sweet corn risotto

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I can’t tell you what a difference a day makes with Rory. He couldn’t have been more chilled today. I think the slower pace and being more available for him is helping. We started off our day with music class before heading out into the sunshine at the park with Christine, Gracie and Mason. Rory and Gracie discovered some large tree branches that they loved playing with and dragging around. Rory then started making some mud soup. After a two and a half hour nap (yay – he’s back) we enjoyed some delicious strawberries Lora had given us. I had chopped them in half and when Rory took one he correctly noticed that it was a triangle shape – good everyday maths. In the afternoon we headed out for some more gentle park time. I sat on a wall and Rory sat next to me. He spent a lot of time gathering twigs and stones and other bits of mud to continue making mud soup and stirring it. He also enjoyed some small world play in the sand pit with his digger and dump truck, imagining a construction site. We came home and I started on supper. I’m trying to use up lots of my freezer things so didn’t have a lot to play with. I decided on this sweet corn risotto with herbes de provence. Easy to make, with few ingredients (and isn’t making and stirring a risotto terribly relaxing and nourishing for the soul?!) Rory couldn’t get enough of this (he had FIVE helpings). A couple of notes: when making a simple risotto I find it terribly important to use a good quality stock to give it it’s flavor. I also didn’t have parmesan so substituted yummy cream cheese which gave it such a rich, delicious creaminess which thoroughly complemented the sweet corn. For dessert we enjoyed perfectly ripe cherries.

Sweet Corn Risotto with Herbes de Provence

Ingredients
5 cups Rich Chicken Stock or store-bought low-sodium stock
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (or Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
3/4 cup fresh corn (see note, page 53) or frozen, thawed
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
Heat the chicken stock in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until hot, reduce the heat to low, and keep the stock at a low simmer.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the scallions, stirring, just until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon until the grains are opaque and coated in the oil, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and pour in the wine. Cook and stir until all the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Don’t let the rice brown.

Ladle in about 1 cup of the warm stock and stir with a wooden spoon until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 6 minutes. When almost all the liquid is gone, ladle in another 1/2 cup stock. Keep stirring and adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. After the rice has absorbed 2 1/2 cups stock, taste it. The rice should be firm to the bite but creamy. If it is hard, continue to add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice tastes perfect to you. (You may not need all of the stock.)

Stir in the corn and reduce the heat to very low so the risotto stops simmering. Stir in the butter, cheese, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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