November 16, 2011

A Wednesday off is a perfect day for Soup

I had a day off today. I had absolutely nothing that needed doing! No school work, no housework, I wasn't babysitting, I didn't have anything wedding related to do, there was nothing that needed doing.

So I went to the grocery store (a usually hobby of mine) to see what yummy produce they had just in. They had some really good looking swiss chard.

When I was growing up, my dad loved Swiss Chard, which I learned was not a commonly eaten thing with my friends. He grew it himself, and would steam it and make us eat it. Being the obstinate child I was, I decided I hated it. However, It grew on me. But I can rarely find it in stores, as I'm not sure it's a very popular grocery item these days. So it appearing at the little grocery I go to was a really exciting event.

So I made it into a really good soup! Not only is this a good soup, but it's a super healthy soup, and ridiculously nutritious for you. Ridiculously.

Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
7 Cups of water
a few large leaves of Swiss Chard, chopped into large chunks and rinsed.
2 large carrots, sliced
1 cup dried lentils (I'm using green lentils, but feel free to use your favorite kind)
4 small new potatoes
1 smallish/mediumish sweet potato
1 vegan bouillon cube, any flavor (I use mushroom)

Combine 4 of the 7 cups of water and the bouillon cube in a soup pot. Bring to a boil.
Dump the lentils in, and turn the burner to low, simmering for 10 minutes to start softening up the lentils.
Add in the carrots, and simmer for 5 minutes, until also slightly softened.
Add in the two types of potatoes, and cook for 10 minutes, turning up the heat to medium to get everything cooked up.
At this point, test the lentils, make sure they're cooked. They shouldn't be too chewy, and just falling apart in the soup.
Add in the chard, and stir to combine. Cook on medium for about a minute, until it wilts slightly and is a nice vibrant yet darkening green. Serve.

This is a really good soup to serve in the dead of winter. It's really warming, and lentils have a nice peppery taste that sort of makes you feel good.  If you can't find Swiss Chard, it can be easily replaced with some chopped spinach or kale!  It also makes an excellent meal if you've got a cold, or are recovering from illness and need a nice nutrition boost. Trying to lose some weight? This soup you will notice has no creams or oils in it, thus is calorie friendly. It also has lots of fiber due to the lentils, so makes you feel full and helps with digestion.

Thus, eat, feel good, and enjoy!

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