Recently a friend sent me a beautiful and bountiful book called “Vegetable Literacy” by Deborah Madison. Aside from being a visually stunning book, it is full of wonderful recipes. The friend thought it was somewhat cheeky of him to be giving me a book about growing and serving vegetables, about which he assumed I knew more than enough. But, wrong he was and I have spent hours reading this book and even trying a recipe or two. Here is one I liked. With worlds of Swiss Chard currently in our garden, as well as cilantro, this was a natural choice!
Chard Soup with Cumin, Cilantro and Lime
8 cups trimmed chard leaves (about a pound or 20 leaves)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion sliced
1 potato sliced
1 carrot sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
cup of finely cut cilantro leaves
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
freshly ground pepper
grated zest and juice of one lime
Chop the chard coarsely. Heat oil in soup pot. Add onion, potato and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes to soften. Stir in the tomato paste, smashing it into the veggies and then add the cumin, coriander, cilantro and chard leaves. Sprinkle salt, cover the pot and allow the leaves to cook down lots before adding 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, cover partially, and simmer until potato has softened. Cool slightly and then add sour cream and puree in blender until smooth. Return it all to pot over gentle heat. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and stir in the lime zest and juice. Should serve four.