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Makes 6 to 8 servings.
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 small onion, cut into small dice
- 1 small leek, white part only, very thinly sliced
- 4 to 5 small green garlics, white parts only, very thinly sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, cut into small dice
- 1 small bunch chard, stems and leaves separated
- kosher salt
- ⅔ cup Italian rice, preferably Vialone Nano
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds spring greens, a mix of arugula, stinging nettles, watercress, sorrel, young beet or turnip greens and spinach
- black pepper in a mill
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium-low heat, add the onion and leek and saute until limp and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring now and then.
- Add the garlic and fennel and cook 5 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, cut the chard stems into small dice and add them to the pot with the other vegetables.
- Season with salt and continue to cook until all of the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.
- Add 6 cups water and stir in the rice and the red pepper flakes.
- Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the chard into ½-inch crosswise slices.
- If using stinging nettles, use tongs to plunge them into boiling salted water, cook for 30 seconds and rinse in cool water.
- Stack the nettles and cut them into ¼-inch wide crosswise slices.
- Cut the sorrel and beet or turnip greens into thin crosswise slices.
- If the spinach leaves are small, leave them whole; if they are large, cut them as you have cut the other greens.
- Add the greens and stir until they are wilted.
- Add 2 cups water and simmer 10 minutes.
- Taste, correct for salt and season generously with black pepper.