INGREDIENTS for the Broth:
2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into pieces
a few sprigs of Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
5 cups of water
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
salt to taste
INGREDIENTS for the Cabbage:
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds of cabbage, chopped (Savoy if available)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups of Arborio rice
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of hard or semi-soft cheese, diced (Bel paese, scamorza or mozzarella)
2 tablespoons of grated provolone cheese (optional)
Make the broth by placing the vegetables and the herbs in a saucepan with the water and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and season with salt.
In a large saucepan stir the chopped onion and celery into the olive oil.
Cover over low to medium heat until the onion is translucent and golden. Stir in the cabbage and then the broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat for about 30 minutes.
Add the rice to the cabbage mixture, and cook until almost tender. If the soup becomes too dry, add a little boiling water to it.
Stir in the cheese and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 more minutes before serving.