Food with JP passion: Orzo with Butter Beans, Peas, Lemon & Thyme

By JP Kennedy

This is a new delicious lighter version of a Risotto courtesy of Mary Berry. I was recently watching one of her shows on TV, where she made this, and immediately thought to myself I am giving that recipe a go.

I know we have not had the summer weather we would have hoped for by now but this is a perfect light, fresh summer dish.

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So, no harm in getting some practice in now in anticipation for those warm summer days when hopefully we all be able to entertain and have guests over for supper.

Another great thing about this recipe is it’s very adaptable! I add some smoked bacon lardons (I love my meat) but you can leave this out if cooking for vegetarians.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 200g Orzo pasta
  • 200g frozen peas defrosted
  • 200g butter beans
  • A knob of butter & drizzle or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 200g full fat crème fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped thyme
  • 25g Parmesan cheese
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 100g smoked bacon lardons (optional)
  • 25g Pine Nuts (toasted)
  • Another 25g Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on at the end
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Cook the orzo pasta in boiling water according to the instructions on the packet (usually takes 10 minutes) and then drain.

2. Boil the butter beans and peas for 2- 3 minutes in a separate pan; then drain and rinse.

3. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry pan and set aside to add at the end.

4. Heat the butter & oil in a large frying pan and add the onion and bacon lardons if using and fry over a high heat for 2- 3 minutes. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and cook for another 15 minutes until nice and soft. Add the garlic powder and fry off for one minute.

5. Stir in the crème fraiche then add the cooked orzo, butter beans & peas and gently heat together. Add the lemon juice and zest, fresh thyme, parmesan and stir together. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.

6. Spoon into serving dishes, scatter with pine nuts and the rest of the grated parmesan – serve and enjoy!

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A really quick and easy supper dish that is bursting with fresh ingredients perfect for this time of year. If cooking for less than 4 people adjust the measurements accordingly.

I’d suggest making it for two at a minimum even if just cooking for one and then you have supper and the following day’s lunch taken care of! Be careful not to overcook the pasta as it will absorb the cream on standing and will become too stodgy!

I know I will be returning to this recipe over and over throughout the Summer months - it’s really delicious. Enjoy

Contact JP On:

Twitter: @JPKCooking
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