Broad Bean, Leek and Fennel Top Risotto

From Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids

One of our favourite recipes as it is the epitome of Spring and broad beans are so easy to grow. We also freeze the uncooked podded beans so we can have a little taste of spring in Winter.

Serves 4


500g broad beans in the pod
small wedge of parmesan, grated, about 4 tbl
1 small onion, finely chopped.
10 stalks of parsley, rinsed. Finley chopped.
handful of fennel tops, rinsed and finely chopped.
1 large leek, cut into fine rings, soaked to release dirt
4 cups home made chicken stock
80g butter
1 cup aborio rice
freshly ground black pepper


Fill medium saucepan with water and pinch of salt, bring to the boil.

Pod the broad beans into a medium bowl.

Place colander into sink. Drop beans into boiling water for 30 secs. Tip the broad beans and water into the colander and cool quickly with cold water.

Double peel the broad beans by slipping each bean out of its tough skin into a bowl, using your fingers. Place tough skins in the compost bucket.

Rinse the saucepan used to boil the beans, pour in the stock and heat over medium heat, turn to low and leave a ladle in it.

Place 40g of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and tip in the onion and leek, stir with wooden spoon until vegetables are softened. Tip in the rice and stir well. Add a ladle-full of stock at a time stirring all the time. The rice will absorb the hot stock and start to swell. Continue to add the stock until there is only a couple of ladle fulls left in saucepan, you will use this later. After about 15 mins taste the rice, it should be a little nutty in the centre of each grain. Add the broad beans and the last 2 ladle fulls of stock, stirring. Taste for salt and pepper.

After 5 mins stir in second half of the butter, fennel tops, herbs and parmesan.

Cover the pan for 3-4 minutes before serving.

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