Soup’s on at my house. Again.
What can I say? It is cold. It is rainy. This is perfect soup weather.
This soup surprised me. Other than spinach and beet tops, I have to try really hard to love dark leafy greens, and, try as I may, I can’t love/like/tolerate kale. I’ve braised it, massaged it into salads, baked it into casseroles. It. Is. Still. Kale.
I have come to enjoy chard, however, and I particularly enjoyed this chard and rice soup. The flavor of the broth is mild and the chard and basmati rice complement each other nicely. The original recipe came from The New York Times kitchens. I adapted it to include garbanzo beans and a chopped tomato. I suspect this soup would be very good with white beans as well.
Recipe: Swiss Chard and Rice Soup
1 pound Swiss chard (1 bunch)
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced (with leaves)
Salt to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 quarts vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 tomato, diced
A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, sprigs of parsley and thyme
1/2 Cup white basmati rice
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan or Asagio cheese for serving
Chopped parsley for garnish
Rinse chard carefully to remove any dirt. Trim bottoms off chard stalks. Separate leaves from stalks. Julienne chard leaves or chop and set aside. Chop chard stalks into 1/4 inch slices. Chop celery and onion. Saute chard stalks, onion and celery in heated olive oil for 3-4 minutes until vegetables begin on soften. Add salt and continue to saute mixture for another 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for one minute.
Add vegetable broth, bouquet garni and rice to the sauteed vegetables. Bring mixture to a boil, and add salt to taste. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and discard bouquet garni.
Stir chard into soup. Add garbanzo beans and diced tomato. Continue to simmer soup for another ten minutes. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve with a generous sprinkle of grated cheese and a bit of chopped parsley for garnish. Enjoy.
Cook’s Note: If the soup is refrigerated and thickens, add additional broth.
Here is the link to to the original recipe at the NY Times: