SW recipe: Risotto primavera

Serves 4
Ready in about 35 minutes
Syns per serving: 1


Low-calorie cooking spray
1 onion or 5 small shallots, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 vegetable stock cubes, or 3 tsp powdered vegetable bouillon
300g dried risotto rice, such as Arborio or carnaroli
200g asparagus tips or thin asparagus, cut into 4cm lengths
200g frozen peas
200g frozen baby broad beans
4 spring onions, finely sliced
3 tbsp chopped soft herbs (we used a mixture of chives, parsley, basil, mint and dill)
4 level tbsp grated fresh Parmesan, or vegetarian alternative


  • 1 Spray a large, deep frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a low heat. Add the onion or shallots and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.


    • 2 While the onion is cooking, fill a large saucepan with 1.8 litres water and place over a high heat. Add the vegetable stock cubes or powder and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. You want the stock to remain hot, but not bubble enough to evaporate.

        • 3 Increase the heat under the onions to medium and tip in the risotto rice. Fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice starts to become translucent, but not toasted or brown. This adds to the finished texture and flavour of the risotto.

        • 4 Start to stir in the stock, a ladle-and-a-half at a time, so it simmers as you stir. When the first lot of stock has been absorbed (you should be able to drag your wooden spoon across the base of the pan and leave a clear line), add the next batch and keep repeating. The continuous stirring gives it the creaminess.

          • 5 After 18-20 minutes, the rice should be getting creamy, but still be a little hard. Add the asparagus, peas and broad beans with your next addition of stock, then continue cooking, following Step 4, for a further 2-5 minutes until the rice and veg are just tender. If the rice isn’t ready, carry on adding more stock until it is.

          • 6 Now the rice is ready, remove the pan from the heat. Scatter over the spring onions and add one more ladleful of stock. Season, then cover with a lid or foil and leave to rest for 3 minutes. Finally, beat in the herbs and cheese for 30 seconds (to make it extra creamy). Divide between 4 bowls and serve.

          Our top tips for the perfect risotto…

          If risotto sits too long after cooking, it will lose its creaminess and become solid, so have all the ingredients ready prepared. For a different flavour, get creative and add roasted squash or red onion wedges, finely chopped cauliflower or courgette, or diced cooked lean bacon, shredded leftover cooked chicken or defrosted prawns. Add ingredients that need a little cooking – such as prawns, cauliflower and courgette – in Step 5. Stir in cooked ingredients that just need heating through at the same stage as the final ladleful of stock in Step 6.

          Fill up on Free Food®
          All our meals are based on Slimming World Free Food – nutritious, everyday foods that fill you up for fewer calories, meaning they’re great for weight loss! Free Food includes lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, pasta, rice, potatoes, pulses, fruit, veg and more. And you can eat these foods freely, making them perfect for satisfying the biggest of appetites. Some Free Foods have the extra bonus of being Speed Food – fruit and veg that are super-low in calories and keep you slimming beautifully. For the best results, always reach for Speed Food first in between meals and include at least a third of a plate of Speed Food at every meal, where it makes sense.

          Add in Healthy Extras®
          To help provide a good balance of nutrients, enjoy two measured portions of milk or cheese each day – your Healthy Extra ‘a’ choices. Options include 350ml skimmed milk or 250ml semi-skimmed milk; 40g reduced-fat or 30g full-fat hard cheese; 50g mozzarella (cow’s milk); 45g feta or 35g Danish blue, which can be eaten as part of a meal or snack. Also have one portion of wholemeal bread or breakfast cereal each day – your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice. To keep things simple we’ve built your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice into the menu plan each day.

          Choose your Syns®
          Foods and drinks that pose a risk to your weight loss – those high in fat or sugar, as well as alcohol – can be enjoyed as carefully counted Syns. We recommend you plan between 5 and 15 Syns into your day (see the bottom of the next page for some ideas).

          Make simple swaps
          To help protect your weight loss, choose the leanest meats and trim off any visible fat – cut the white bits off bacon and remove skin from poultry. Dry-fry or cook with low-calorie cooking spray rather than fat or oil, switch sugar for sweetener, and swap cream and crème fraîche for fat-free natural yogurt or plain quark.


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