Sunday, February 17, 2013

Red Chard and Leek Soup

Chris and I decided to have some soup tonight to go with some cheese quesadillas and steamed vegetables that we were having as a family. I always end up stuffing in extra veggies in my meals, especially if I've worked out, and I had these leeks and chard in the fridge to use.

So I found some various recipes for simple bisques and soups and decided to go with that, but kind of making it up as I went.

It was very green. Both in looks and in taste. However, it was delicious! These days, I find that I crave that 'green' flavor! I remember recently after being sick with strep and that sinus infection when my appetite was just so low, that when my appetite came back I just wanted greens! Kale, spinach, broccoli, etc. Anything and everything green!

Anyway, Chris topped his with some hot sauce and he declared it to be delicious and that we should add it into the regular rotation. I normally top my soups with fun things like sunflower seeds, yogurt dollops (which actually would have gone awesome with this soup) parmesan cheese and other fun things, but I liked this enough that I ate it plain. The contrast of the creamy soup and the crunchy/cheesy quesadilla was kind of a great pair. I might have chosen a grilled cheese over the cheese crisp, but I was overruled by the majority and I  decided to play fair and not pull rank.

So here is the method (again, it's so easy and versatile that it's not really a recipe)

Red Chard and Leek Soup
1 bunch of chard (any type will do probably, I used red)
2 leeks
2-3 cups of broth (we used veggie, you can use chicken or whatever)
1 tbls oil (I used rice bran oil, it's a mild, buttery flavor and handles heat pretty well)
salt and pepper to taste (plus any other seasonings you love with veggies)
1 tbls heavy cream

In a sturdy-bottomed pot, add the oil and let that heat while you prepare the veggies.

Wash the chard thoroughly and trim the stalks ends. Slice them (like you would celery) and roughly chop the leaves. You want it fairly small so it'll cook quickly, but since you'll be blending this mixture up, it doesn't matter if it's not pretty. Trim the end from the leeks and also the leafy green top. Slice the leeks lengthwise and wash them well, separating the layers to get any dirt that's hiding. Slice them up finely. They remind me of giant green onions in scent and texture, so that's how I cut them. 

Add the veggies and broth, plus a little salt to the pot. Let it cook until the veggies have cooked down and are very soft. About 12-15 minutes. Using a blender, blend up the soup in batches. I tried using my immersion blender and it didn't get the results I wanted, but you could certainly make it work. Put the soup back in the pot and add the cream and more seasoning to taste. You can also get creative here with your own additions. 

Makes enough for two. You could certainly increase this for a bigger batch. I would have photographed it for you, but green soup just doesn't ever really photograph well, specifically if you are terrible at taking pictures in the first place. 

**Now, if you have more adventurous kids than I do, you could probably give this soup a fun name like "Oscar the Grouch soup" or something equally fun. Top it with some fishy crackers or grated cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich cut into strips would probably go well. I knew better than to even try this with my own and I didn't want to waste any of this delicious stuff! Plus, they were already having green beans, cauliflower and broccoli with their dinners. So I was pretty happy with that. 

So I challenge you to try a new vegetable in the next week! You never know when you'll find something to 'add to the rotation'! 

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