Confession: After I took the final picture, I polished off both of these bowls in a single sitting (on the floor). The soup was cold at that point but so dang delicious. I heard about this soup a year or so ago from my favorite NPR program, the Splendid Table. The story of this soup was so colorful and inviting – I had to make it. Ugh. I don’t know why I waited a year – now I feel like I have to make up for lost time. My version varies mostly in preparation because: Confession No. 2: I’m lazy in the kitchen. This soup is fresh, flavorful and filling. It has a mellow roasted garlic flavor with garlicky pine nut cream. A crust of this bread would be nice on the side. Don’t wait a year to make it.
Caramelize onions until light brown and translucent. Add the chard stalks and sauté some more.
Toast the garlic on low heat with a bit of olive oil until light brown and fragrant.
Next add the vegetable stock and roasted garlic. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until chard stalks are tender.
Lastly add the greens and cooked rice to the pot. Simmer on medium for just a few minutes before blending with your immersion blender.
Mix the pine nuts, garlic flavored oil and pinch of salt together in your food processor until creamy.
Recipe Inspired by The Splendid Table
Ingredients for the Soup
1 large bunch of swiss chard
1 large onion
2 bunches or 2 bags fresh spinach
1/4 cup brown rice
4 cups vegetable stock (homemade tastes best)
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper and pepper flakes
olive oil and/or butter for sautéing onions
a generous squeeze of lemon for serving
Ingredients for the Pine Nut Cream
3 tablespoons pine nuts
6 tablespoons garlicky olive oil
Caramelize onions until light brown and translucent. Add the chard stalks and sauté some more. In a separate pan, toast the garlic on low heat with about 6 tablespoons of olive oil until light brown and fragrant. Cook the rice in a separate small pot. Add the vegetable stock to the onions and chard stalks with salt, pepper and pepper flakes, bring to a boil, then simmer until chard stalks are tender. When the garlic is light brown and fragrant add it to the pot as well, reserve the oil for the pine nut cream. Add the cooked rice and the greens to the soup, simmer for a minute or so then blend it all up with your immersion blender or high speed blender. In your food processor combine garlic oil and pine nuts. Blend until smooth. Garnish soup with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon, pine nut cream and maybe some fresh parsley if you have it on hand.