marisa mariella

easy mouthwatering recipes that unite your family and friends

Minestra di riso con porri, patate, e scarola (Leek, Potato and Escarole Rice Soup)

Don't call this minestrone! This soup is way too elegant for that! Minestra is a classic Italian soup preparation that features only a few key ingredients. The addition of a little rice or pasta is very traditional. This version highlights creamy potatoes and the earthy taste of escarole. Eat a bowl and feel a sense of wellness just spread through your body and mind!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people


  • ½ cup dried rice any rice except instant
  • 3 leeks
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes preferably yellow-fleshed like Yukon Gold
  • 1 small head escarole
  • water
  • 4 shallots
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6 tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt up to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Hot pepper flakes Optional
  • Few slices of pancetta bacon, or prosciutto, chopped (optional)
  • Chunk Parmigiano Reggiano with rind


  • Trim escarole and place in bowl of cold water to rinse well. Strain and chop in large pieces. Set aside.
  • Wash, peel, and and quarter potatoes. Then cut into ¼” thick slices. Set aside.
  • Remove outer leaves of leeks and discard. Trim off dark green leaves and freeze in plastic bag to save for future stock. Slice down the length of leeks and rinse well, opening each layer to reveal the inner parts. Slice thinly. Set aside.
  • Remove outer skins of shallots. Slice thinly. Set aside.
  • Peel garlic and mince. Set aside.
  • If using rind, wash and scrape a thin layer from the outside. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in large soup pot. Add shallots and saute a few minutes. Add leeks and stir for a few minutes. Add garlic and stir. Do not brown garlic. (Add hot pepper flakes if using.) Add potatoes.
  • Add enough water to completely submerge the vegetables by about 5cm. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Add rind, if using. Season lightly with salt and pepper Set lid to cover partially. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Then, rinse rice and add to soup. Add chopped parsley and chopped escarole. Sir and simmer for about another 20 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.
  • Taste for seasonings. (Remove rind, if using. Can be finely chopped and added to soup.) Stir and serve immediately. Add freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Feel free to replace the chopped escarole with 2 cups of chopped spinach or Swiss Chard or 2 chopped zucchini.
You may wish to parboil the escarole in a separate pot of boiling salted water for a few minutes. Then drain and add to soup in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Consider adding 2 cups of cooked dried beans, such as cannellini or navy beans with the rice.
The ingredients and amounts are given as a guide. Adjust to reflect your preference.
If you are reheating the soup, you may wish to add a little water to thin it out. 
Keyword Escarole, garlic, leeks, onions, potatoes, rice, soup