Swiss Chard and Rice Soup
Try this healthy soup, from New York Times Recipes for Heath, as an alternative to chili during a football game this fall. Serve it with whole-grain bread or a simple green salad.
- 2 pounds Swiss chard (2 generous bunches)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- Salt to taste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 quarts chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
- 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs each parsley and thyme (wrap in cheesecloth; remove after cooking)
- 1/2 cup basmati rice
- Freshly ground pepper
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
- Freshly grated parmesan for serving (optional)
- Trim bottoms of chard stems. If stems are thin and fibrous, separate leaves and discard stems. If stems are wide, separate leaves and cut stems into 1/4-inch dice. Set aside with the celery and onion. Wash leaves in 2 changes of water and chop medium-fine.
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot and add onion, celery and chard stalks. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt. Continue to cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, another 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add stock or water, herb bundle, and rice. Bring to a boil, add salt to taste, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir chard into the soup, cover, and simmer another 10 minutes. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and add more salt if desired. Serve with fresh lemon wedges or parmesan if desired.
Makes 6 servings with 128 calories, 3 grams fat, 327 milligrams sodium, 22 grams carbohydrates, and 3 grams fiber.