Swiss Chard and Potato Soup
September 25, 2006
I tried to use the last of the swiss chard bundles I bought on sale last week from Whole Foods. In doing so, I decided to revise a recipe I saw in Lidia Bastianich's cookbook for arugula and potato soup. I deviated a little, and it appears that this was not so wise as the roomie did not care for the creamy texture. The dish is still very tasty, but sans the cream (although Rick Bayless has a very similar recipe that uses cream). I say, divide the soup and try a batch with and without the cream and judge for yourself.
You will need:
- 1 bunch of swiss chard, washed and cut into ribbons
- 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 or 3 potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced into rounds
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 c of vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to taste, and a few pinches of chile piquin (crushed red pepper)
- olive oil or vegetable oil
- optional 1/2 c of cream
Step One: In a large stock pot, add 4 tbsp of olive or vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the sliced potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook the potatoes until golden brown, stirring every few minutes to avoid sticking. I cooked these potato rounds for about 8 minutes (after the oil and pan were hot)
Step Two: Add the onions and minced garlic cloves and cook for another 4-6 minutes or until the onions soften. Add the swiss chard and toss. Cover the pan and cook for about 3 minutes so the chard just begins to wilt.
Step Three: Pour in the stock. At this point, you can let this soup cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the stock is nice and hot, or you can also add the cream. Add chile piquin to taste and enjoy. You can also add a nice handful of fresh grated Parmesan to taste.
I thought that the soup was rather tasty with the cream. The purpose of cooking the potatoes in advance is to give them a crispy texture and withstand the stock. I think that this soup is a lot like the Roman Beet Greens soup, and the main difference being that the swiss chard is a little more hearty and gives a better texture, even after sitting in the fridge overnight. Again, the cream is entirely optional, so experiment a little and see what you think.