Chard, collards, rapini, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, bok choy… What do all of these vegetables have in common? They’re all winter greens. Cruciferous vegatbles, meaning cold resistant. Flourishing under colder temperatures, best harvested in the months of November-February, these greens are rich in phytonutrients. They are rich in vitamin A and C, minerals such as potassium, iron, and calcium, plus they are high fiber. Amazing, really.
However, winter greens can get a bad reputation. Of being tough and bitter, mostly. But this is not true. Especially when you take some time to pair them with something super flavorful, like caramelized onions, shallots, strong cheeses, salty meats, or sweet dried fruit. Then, they have this complex, balanced flavor, ideal for satisfying the winter palate.
It’s great to know that even in the winter, when there are less options at the market, that we can still count on greens that pack in tons of nutrition. Greens that are actually more satisfying than thinner, lighter summer greens. I absolutely LOVE winter greens. Kale salads are my favorite of all, with the kale cut thinly into ribbons, mixed with shredded carrots or beets, paired with walnut pieces and dried fruit. It’s a delicious combination. Add a gingery- tahini like dressing and you’ve got an incredibly healthy salad for your winter lunches or dinner side dish!
The star of this blog post, however, is beautiful swiss chard. The leaves look like beet leaves, so it’s no surprise that they’re in the same family. Swiss chard is good raw, added to salads, or sautéed with some shallots then drizzled in lemon juice…but this recipe is for a soup, a wintery broth based soup that is sure to warm you up from the inside out. Take a look…make this and enjoy it!
Once that happens, add your swiss chard greens.
Meanwhile, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can make these little parmesan cheese crisps. Just place a spoonful of cheese on a Silpat or parchment paper. Cook at 350 for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely so it crisps up.
Serve the parmesan crisp with your bowl of soup. Enjoy it! It is a great detox at this time of year, holiday season and all!
Swiss Chard and Mushroom Soup
Method: In large pot, over medium high heat, saute the mushrooms, shallots, chard stems, and garlic in olive oil. Once browned, add salte and pepper. Let cook about 3 more minutes. Add the chard leaves and thyme. Mix it all up so the sauteed vegetables cover the leaves and thyme, and the leaves begin to wilt. Then add your water. Stir. Bring to a boil then let everything simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with a parmesan crisp.