Thursday, January 26, 2012

Red Chard Soup with Popcorn Cauliflower & Shredded Chard Leaves

Just as I like a touch of vinegar in with my collards, I thought some white wine vinegar would be a good addition to this soup made of red chard stems. Boy was I right! Just a splash of vinegar added an incredibly bright punch of flavor without being over-powering or too acidic. If you make sauteed chard ever, save the stems for this soup. In fact save the stems regardless, they taste great in many other cooking methods such as pickling.

A smooth, tomato-based soup chock full of red chard stems and other veggies. Serve with crispy florets of cauliflower and shredded chard leaves.

Red Chard Soup
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
2 celery stalk, small dice
2 1/2 cups small diced red chard stems (from 2 bunches)
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbl white wine vinegar
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups vegetable broth

Heat the olive oil over medium-high and add the red onions. Cook for 10 minutes until brown and caramelized. Add the carrot, celery and chard stems. Season with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute for 15 minutes until the chard and carrots have started to soften. Add the vinegar and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. Once the chard is soft, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
Transfer back to the pot and add the vegetable broth. Cook for 5 minutes then taste for more salt or pepper.

Popcorn Cauliflower
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted
coarse sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425.
Toss the florets with oil, salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes. Roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes until slightly tender with crispy edges. Toss with breadcrumbs and coarse sea salt and sprinkle on top of soup.

Shredded Chard Leaves
1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed, leaves very thinly sliced
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 425.
Toss the shredded leaves with oil and salt and roast for 15 minutes until crispy.

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