May 20, 2002
Yummy Chard and Lentil Soup
Chard is one of those leafy greens that's high in Vitamin A and should be part of a breast cancer diet. Sylvia and I dislike it, and apparently most bugs do too, because when I planted some in my garden they wouldn't touch it. It grew big, healthy-looking leaves that I harvested and steamed, and we ate it dutifully.
Since neither of us believe in mortification of the flesh - we want quality of life as well as quantity - I went searching through my cookbooks and the Internet for recipes. Lots of people flavor their greens with pork or cheese, but that wouldn't do for us. We're working on a low-fat, near-vegan diet. After some experimentation, I came up with the following:
2 cups dried lentils
1 finely-sliced large carrot
1 clove of garlic (usually I interpret this to mean one tablespoon), minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 T. olive oil
salt (to taste)
¼ to ½ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 t. caraway seeds
1 large bunch chard, washed and chopped
Simmer the lentils in two quarts water for 20 minutes. Check to see if you need more water (I added more at intervals, and ended up with about three quarts total before the soup was done). Add the carrot and bay leaf, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
While the lentils and carrot simmer, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Then add them, along with the salt, pepper, and caraway seeds. I like to mash the caraway seeds a little in a mortar and pestle, just before throwing them in - brings out the flavor.
Simmer for another five minutes. Then stir in the chard, and simmer for another 5-6 minutes.
This is good with whole wheat bread or baked sweet potatoes on the side.
I just thought of something to add -- for people who can't stand such a low-fat soup, they might want to use an additional T. of olive oil.