There was a period in my life when I had no other soup than this one. It was during my early university years, when I commuted to Padua from Venice, where I lived with my maternal aunt. We used to have bollito misto once a week, and my uncle—an engineer who had organized his life and ours by a few undebatable operating principles—had decreed that into the broth from the bollito it was pointless to put anything else but rice and, to give the soup fragrance and lightness, the celery.
It was a long time after I left that house that I had the soup again. When I did, a substantial enough interval had elapsed for me to recognize that, single-minded though he had been, my uncle had not been entirely mistaken. With a rich meat broth this is a lovely, light soup to have, on occasion.