"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Rainbow chard and chickpea soup over rice

by Julie Tilsner on July 26, 2010

in Soup is Easy, Soups, Vegetarian

Take that, you Box.

Three boxes out of four, I’ve gotten rainbow chard and kale. Three boxes out of four, I’ve stared at my rainbow chard and kale and watched it go over.

The fourth box, I had a bitch-slap-upside-the-head of inspiration.

Rainbow chard and chickpea soup.

I found a recipe from the fabulous Jeanne Lemlin, author of my favorite, no-fail cookbook, Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. We like vegetarian. We like simple. And since everything I’ve ever made from this book turns out wonderfully, it is a pleasure.

Here it is, with my tweaks (thanks Heather, of Tales from a Veggie Kitchen blog!)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups vegetable stock (I used one box of Trader Joe’s vegetarian broth – 4 cups – plus four cups water)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup of water
4 cups freshly cooked or canned chickpeas (2 16 0z cans)
8 cups of finely shredded Swiss chard leaves
1 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and
cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic and crushed red
pepper flakes, and saute for five minutes or until onion is tender.
Add the stock, tomato paste mixture, and chickpeas and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a lively simmer, and cook for ten minutes. Stir in
the Swiss chard and salt, and simmer ten minutes.
3. Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree it in a blender or food processor. Return it to the pot.

Some tweaks: I included half a teaspoon of turmeric, because it’s so good for you and they say it helps fight Alzheimer’s which is waiting for me just up the road, courtesy of both my grandmothers. Anyway, it also adds only a little flavor but a big wallop of color. Also, I think I added half a teaspoon of cumin, which made the whole thing a little more Indian tasting.

I didn’t have eight cups of shredded chard – I only had one bunch, which maybe was three cups with a wind at its back. But it didn’t seem to matter.

Rainbow.chard.soup This is one soup that improves vastly with a rest overnight in the fridge. The next day, I thought to dump it over some leftover sticky rice … to incredible results. At least I loved it.

There are no leftovers. This is always a good sign.

So this week,The Box did not defeat me. Except for the kale.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce August 2, 2010 at 4:15 am

This is why I stopped doing the box. All too often, I got things like beet greens and garlic ramps — the kind of stuff that doesn’t sell at the farmer’s market!


Abs August 14, 2010 at 7:12 am

This was sooooo delicious! I reduced the amount of stock to six cups though, and it was still too liquidy – I had to take out lots of the liquid, but I used it to cook the rice, so no harm done. This recipe is versatile too. Yesterday I made it with just two cups of stock and replaced a can of chickpeas with one of green lentils, pureed two cups of it and added it back in with some grated creamed coconut and it made a fabulous koma-style curry sauce to which I added Quorn pieces and mushrooms. Mmmm!


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