Inspired by the flavors of bouillabaisse (the Provencal seafood stew), this creamy, saffron-hued risotto is a special occasion dish for vegans, vegetarians and even meat eaters. Ingredients high in umami (the savory fifth taste), like tomato paste, soy sauce and canned tomatoes, add depth; nutritional yeast adds a bit of a cheesy taste. Make the stock ahead of time, and rewarm it when you're ready to make the dish.
Separate the white and green (light and dark) portions of the leek, and cut each in half lengthwise; rinse well to remove any soil. Roughly chop the green top, and set aside for the stock. Thinly slice the white portion into half circles, and set aside for the risotto. Cut the tops off the fennel, and roughly chop for the stock. Finely chop the fennel bulb, and set aside for the risotto.
For the stock: Put the wine, leek greens, fennel tops, carrots, celery, garlic, orange peel, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and peppercorns in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the wine has evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes. Add 10 cups of water, and bring to a boil; reduce to a gentle simmer, and cook until the stock has reduced by about one third (7 to 8 cups), about 30 minutes. Strain, then use the back of a ladle to squeeze out any excess liquid from the vegetables; discard the vegetables, and keep the stock warm (or cool the stock and refrigerate for up to 3 days).
For the risotto: Add a splash of water to the saffron in a small bowl, and set aside to bloom.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, chopped fennel and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, soy sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and cayenne, and stir for 1 minute. Add the rice, and stir until coated. Add the wine, and simmer, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3 cups of the warm stock, the saffron and the blooming water to the rice. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 7 to 8 minutes. Add 3 more cups of stock, bring back to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is tender but slightly toothsome, 10 to 12 minutes more. In the last few minutes of cooking, add the tomatoes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in half the parsley and 3 tablespoons of the nutritional yeast, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust the consistency of the risotto by adding more of the stock as necessary. Pour into a serving dish, and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast.
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