Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What to Do with All This Swiss Chard? Part I

When the Swiss chard comes in in southern California gardens, it REALLY comes in. As in, gargantuan-sized leaves that loom menacingly over smaller, less ballsy plants. One could use a leaf as an umbrella, easily. So what do you do with it all? Another pan full of sauteed greens? Well, I love sauteed greens, but sometimes you would like a change. Last night, we had our favorite foodie couple over for supper. I made this simply Swiss chard soup [recipe below] and that was all they talked about. How remarkable! You can't tell there's chard in it--or sweet potatoes. The two flavors work synergistically to create, well, something else entirely. So here is . . . something else entirely.

Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Soup

2 medium or one large onion
2 tablespoons olive oil and more to drizzle
8 cloves garlic, crushed
About eight cups of chopped green Swiss chard, white stems excluded
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
6 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (I like to use Superior Base brand Better Than Bouillon chicken stock concentrate--it's cheap and easy to use--just store the jar in the refrigerator and reconstitute with water)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a sturdy stock pot, saute the onions in the olive oil until they are tender and starting to caramelize. Add in the garlic and saute only for a minute or two. Add in all the other ingredients except salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and falling apart. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in an upright blender. Add in seasonings to taste and drizzle with olive oil before serving.