This deliciously creamy leek and pea risotto is vibrant in colour and packed with fresh green flavours. Easy to make and on the table in 25 minutes.
🍴Why you will love this recipe
Making risotto can be a relaxing process, standing at the hob and stirring, glass of wine in hand. If you haven't made risotto before, this is a great recipe to start with. Cheap and easy with minimal ingredients but maximum flavour, (and this article from the Guardian How to Make the Perfect Risotto is well worth a read).
Half the peas are blitzed with a little stock and some baby spinach, which really adds to the smooth and creamy texture of the risotto, and boosts the vibrant green colour and flavour.
📝 What you need
Risotto rice is a short-grain rice with high starch content which makes for a very creamy risotto. Look out for either arborio or carnaroli rice in shops - they are very widely available and inexpensive. These varieties can absorb a lot of liquid without becoming mushy, which makes risotto such a wonderful dish.
Frozen peas make this a quick and easy dish, (but by all means use fresh peas if you have some). They need to be defrosted - either blast for 1 minute in a microwave or soak in a bowl of boiling water whilst you prepare the rest of the risotto.
Leek gives the savoury flavour-base to your risotto.
Vegan parmesan is optional but really finishes off this dish. My favourites are Violife Prosociano or 'Oh, Grate!' by I am Nut OK. I like to stir two-thirds through the risotto at the end of cooking and scatter the rest over the top to serve.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your leek and pea risotto
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Trim and thinly slice the leek, and peel and crush the garlic. Fry both in olive oil until soft, then stir through the rice.
Add the vegetable stock little by little, stirring frequently, until the rice is almost cooked through.
Put half the peas, the spinach and remaining stock into a blender and blitz until completely smooth. Stir through the risotto along with the remaining peas and cook for a minute or two. Stir through the vegan parmesan, season and serve immediately.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
The more stirring you do during cooking, the creamier your risotto will be. At the end of cooking you can use a whisk to very vigorously beat the risotto which gives an especially creamy result.
You may need a little more than 600ml stock for the rice to cook through, it will be different every time you make it. If you run out, just add boiling water instead.
Try to serve the risotto as soon as you can after cooking, for the very best texture and vibrant colour and flavour.
You can, but the texture of the rice becomes quite grainy and the lovely creaminess of the risotto won't be the same. If you can, always serve it straight after cooking.
As long as it is transferred to an airtight container and kept in the fridge, you can keep the risotto for 24 hours but it must be reheated to piping hot before serving. You will need to add a splash more water to loosen the texture, and the rice won't have quite the same 'bite' after a day in the fridge. If in doubt, consult the Food Standards Agency's advice on rice.
Leek and Pea Risotto
- 1 leek
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoon olive or rapeseed oil
- 180 g risotto rice arborio or carnaroli rice
- 750 ml vegetable stock you will use 600ml in the risotto and 150ml to blitz with the peas
- 250 g frozen peas defrosted
- handful baby spinach leaves
- 30 g vegan parmesan-style cheese optional
- Trim and finely slice the leek. Peel and crush the garlic clove.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or casserole dish and gently fry the leek and garlic for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Add the rice and cook for a minute, then add a ladleful of vegetable stock. Stir frequently and continue to add more stock little by little until for 15 minutes or so until the rice is almost cooked through but still retains some bite. Season well with salt and black pepper.
- Meanwhile, put half the defrosted peas into a blender or mini-chopper with the spinach and 150ml of the vegetable stock. Blitz to a smooth purée.
- Add the pea mixture to the risotto along with the remaining peas and cook for 2 more minutes until thick.
- Stir through the grated vegan cheese (if using). Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve immediately.
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