They say to eat a rainbow, but I am trying to eat more green, as the reds and oranges come too naturally to me. I am also trying to figure out what to plant in my garden, and Swiss chard made the potential list. Truth be told, this was my first time eating Swiss chard. This got me thinking, why the heck is that?
Because, I am a sucker for sales.
And you know what, Swiss chard never goes on sale (neither do pea shoots, and what a treat it was to discover those!). I get side-tracked when baby spinach is less than $4/lb, or wooed when red peppers are under $1/lb, and perfectly smitten when juicy navel oranges are 33 cents/lb (yes, there will be many recipes with orange to come!). But Swiss chard had never made it to my grocery list, until now.
I spotted this recipe in Love Soup (Heidi had already posted the recipe here, too), and was impressed that there was nearly a pound of leafy greens in the soup! Plus, there was a sweet potato and ginger, as well, which I knew worked well from my previous Japanese Winter Stew.
I preferred the soup prior to pureeing it, where I could taste each individual ingredient. The caramelized onions lent a delicious sweetness to the soup, the ginger a bit of bite, the sweet potato proffered its creaminess, all the while dancing around the multitude of greens (feel free to substitute your favourites). You pile in so many vegetables but they wilt down nicely, as you can see.
Other than using baby spinach, I followed the recipe fairly closely. This is surprisingly a quick soup to make, but I took the longer one-pot route. Anna suggests caramelizing your onions while the rest of the soup simmers, but I really wanted to deglaze the pan after caramelizing my onions, so I waited for my onions to finish and then threw the rest of the ingredients in afterwards.
Then I pureed it, and it both looked and tasted completely different. The green highlighted how much green really was in the soup! The soup had become a chameleon, because now it tasted like a melange of flavours since it was all blended together. The same, but different. Two soups for the price of one! I preferred the former, and I think my camera did as well, but for those who get leftover fatigue by the end of the week, the option to puree it is a good one.
I am so excited about Love Soup, as all the recipes look delicious, and perfect for someone with a backyard filled with vegetables. I can’t wait to plant some Swiss chard this summer (yes, it made the cut) and explore more of Anna Thomas’ recipes.
Green Soup with Ginger
1 large yellow onion (250g)
2 tablespoons (30 ml.) olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (500g) (I kept my peel on)
1 large leek, white and light green parts (5 ounces; 140 g)
1 large bunch Swiss chard (12 ounces; 350 g)
3 tablespoons (30 g) chopped fresh ginger, plus more to taste
1 bunch baby spinach (8 ounces; 225 g)
1-2 cups vegetable broth
2-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
1. Chop the onion and cook it slowly in the olive oil with a sprinkle of salt, stirring now and then, over low heat until it is soft and golden, about half an hour.
2. For a quicker two-pot method, peel (optional) and dice the sweet potato and put it in a second large soup pot with 4 cups (1 liter) water and a teaspoon of sea salt (otherwise wait for your onions to finish, deglaze the pan with the water and add the chopped sweet potato). Thoroughly wash the leek, and chard, chop them coarsely, and add them to the pot, along with the chopped ginger.
2. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely tender. Add the caramelized onions when they are ready. About 5 minutes before the vegetables are completely tender, throw in your baby spinach to wilt. When the vegetables are soft, add the vegetable broth (you can add less if you like a thicker soup) and decide whether you want your soup chunky or smooth. If the latter, puree the soup in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender until it is smooth.
3. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste, and correct the seasoning with additional salt or lemon juice.