1cupArborio or Carnaroli riceor other varieties such as jasmine rice, brown rice or long-grain white rice
1/2bunch asparagustrimmed, cut in short lengths (optional)
1small hot red pepperseeded and slivered, or hot red pepper flakes to taste
Sea salt or kosher salt
Best-quality extra virgin olive oilfor drizzling
1 to 1 ½cupsfreshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other hard grating cheese
Leaving small leaves whole, thinly slice the other greens, including stems.
Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Combine the leeks and garlic with the olive oil, stirring until coated. Cover the pan and cook, stirring often, until they soften but do not brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes and cover with broth (if using water, add 1 tablespoon salt). Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until barely tender. Stir in the rice and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
Add the asparagus, hot red pepper, and shredded greens. Season with salt and simmer just until the greens are tender (add more water as necessary for a soupy consistency). Serve the soup warm, topping each serving with a thread of olive oil and sprinkle of cheese. Pass the rest of the cheese at the table.