Risi e Bisi (Traditional Tuscan rice and peas soup)

Before I get into the food, I have to tell you all about VENICE (or Venezia, as the Italians call it). It is so amazingly beautiful I still can’t get over it. We went for Venice Carnivale, which is basically this long celebration before Lent where people dress up in fun and crazy costumes and masks and parade around Venice taking pictures with tourists, competing with other costumed people, and having a good time. Literally all my life Venice has been the one place that I have been dying to go to. So, when I found that my friends here wanted to go also and that we would be in Italy during Carnivale, I was beyond excited. Venice did not let me down, in fact it exceeded my expectations. My only complaint was that it was super crowded and the prices are a lot higher than in Florence because it’s mainly a tourist location.

Before going, I got a mask at the Central Market here in Florence and accidentally stumbled upon the indoor food vendor portion of the market. I was in awe! They have all sorts of meats and cheeses, every single type of dried fruit you could ever think of, fresh pasta, breads, produce, prepared foods, everything you could ever want. I’ve heard their sandwiches are really good, so I’ll definitely be going back for that sometime soon!

So, anyways, in my Italian Vegetarian Cooking class, we made two types of traditional Tuscan soup. We were split into groups and each group was assigned a soup to make. My group was assigned Risi e Bisi and it came out so so well and was really easy to make! The recipe probably made a solid 8 servings, so I would definitely cut the recipe if I make it again at home. Also, I apologize to my American followers for the metric measurements..it’s how the recipe came.

photo (7)


  • 400 g Originario rice
  • 1 kg frozen peas (unless they’re in season, then use fresh)
  • 50 g EVOO
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g parmesan cheese, grated
  • vegetable stock, as needed
  • 100 g white onion, diced
  • parsley to taste, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • saute the onion in a half of the oil and add half the butter
  • add peas and 1 ladle of stock, simmer for 2 minutes
  • and the rice and cover the mixture with stock
  • season with salt and pepper and simmer to cook the rice completely (it will be consistency of more of a risotto or a thick soup)
  • once the rice is soft, take it off the heat and add the parmesan cheese, parsley, and the rest of the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the butter is completely melted and everything is evenly mixed.
  • Serve it hot in bowls and enjoy!!

Tuscan Rice and Peas Soup

I’ll check back in very soon to post about some of my favorite places in Florence thus far! And I’ll keep the recipes coming!


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