Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup

I receive a weekly mixed fruits and vegetables box from Door to Door Organics each week that contains new things for me to try. I purposely don’t check the contents of my box online beforehand so I get a fun little weekly surprise. This past week, my box contained some Swiss Chard, which I had never heard of before. I had to take a picture of it with my phone and do a reverse image look-up on Google just to figure out what it was. This recipe is an amalgamation of several that I found online.

Chard has been bred to have extremely nutritious leaves at the expense of the root, and is known for its wide variety of stalk colors. It is one of the more popular vegetables in Mediterranean cooking and is known by a variety of weird names: silverbeet, perpetual spinach, crab beet, and bright lights, just to name a few from the Wikipedia page.

Cook time: 1 hour. Serves 6.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes, with juice

1.5 – 2 bunches Swiss chard (about 1.5 lbs)

6 cups water

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Sea salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. Separate the leaves and stems of the chard. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces and rip the leaves into 2-inch pieces. Keep separate and put aside for later.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery and cook, stirring until soft and starting to brown (3-5 mins).
  3. Add tomato paste, oregano, and thyme; stir to combine.
  4. Add lentils, diced tomatoes, and water. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add chard stalks and cook until they start to soften, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add chard leaves and cook until both the leaves and the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste; let cook on low heat for another 5 minutes.
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