Swiss chard, most popular in Mediterranean countries, is a powerhouse of nutrition and vitamins. Try this recipe for Swiss chard and lentil soup today.
Swiss chard is one of the most overlooked vegetables. We tend to forget its high nutritional content. While Swiss chard is most popular in Mediterranean countries, it is available year round and you can get it anywhere.
Swiss chard contains high levels of vitamins. The leafy vegetable also contains betalin, a compound that aids in detoxifying the body.
One serving (1 cup) of chard cooked provides:
- Potassium: 136mg
- Vitamin A: 44%
- Vitamin C: 53%
- Iron: 22%
- Vitamin B6: 7%
- Zinc: 4%
- Magnesium: 29%
Swiss chard comes in a variety of colors: green, red and multi-color (white, orange, yellow, and purple). Chard, in the same family as spinach, is high in disease prevention properties and acts as a nutritional shield. Swiss chard is also high in vitamin B-6, which helps boost metabolism. No matter what color, Swiss chard is packed full of important nutrients, and only contains 19 calories per serving. Chard is best and in season from June to November. Throw Swiss chard in your salad or add some to your soup.
Preparing and Serving Swiss Chard
- Always wash chard leaves thoroughly to remove any residues/dirt.
- Always avoid chard bunches that are brown or dried out.
- Swiss chard can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
- When cooking, cook stems five minutes longer than leaves.
- Store unused chard leaves in a plastic bag in the fridge. They can last up to 3 days after.
Did you know?
- Swiss chard can grow up to 28 inches in height.
- Swiss chard is considered a beet.
- The roots of Swiss chard are not edible.
- The word “Swiss” in Swiss chard means “Sicily.”
Swiss Chard Lentil Soup
Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup
- 1Tbspolive oil, plus more for serving
- 1medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1Tbsptomato paste
- 1tspdried oregano
- 1tspdried thyme
- 1cuplentils, picked over and rinsed
- 1container(14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
- 1 1/2lbSwiss chard, stalks cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, leaves torn into 2-inches pieces (keep stalks and leaves separate).
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Bread, for serving (optional)
- In a large saucepan with a lid, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, oregano, and thyme; stir to combine.
- Add lentils, 5 cups of water, and tomatoes with their juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes. Add chard stalks and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chard leaves; season with salt and pepper, and cook until lentils and chard are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice; ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve with bread, if desired.