I have a lentil soup recipe that sounds delicious, but it calls for swiss chard and I can't find chard of any type in the grocery stores in my town (small town Oklahoma) this week. Would baby spinach work?



hobbybaker February 3, 2011
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I used baby spinach, as we were snowed in and had spinach on hand. It was delicious!
casa-giardino February 3, 2011
Another good substitute for swisschard is fresh celery stalks and leaves.

KaffeeAndKuchen February 1, 2011
You could always substitute beet greens if you have them. They are in the same family as chard.
casa-giardino February 1, 2011
hobbybaker - Another choice would be escarole.
casa-giardino February 1, 2011
Pierino - The Italian word of swisschard is "bietola". We grow it in our garden right here in NJ

pierino February 1, 2011
In Europe Swiss chard goes under the name "bletes."
innoabrd February 1, 2011
Collards just take so much longer to cook than chard. I think the napa cabbage suggestion is a good one, or more mature spinach.

Side note: here in South Africa, Swiss Chard is widely called Spinach. Only recently that I've been able to reliably find actual spinach, labeled here as 'baby' spinach. I'm really not wild about Swiss chard, makes my tongue go funny...
ksvoter February 1, 2011
Grow chard in your garden, if you have one. It's easy and foolproof. Full of vitamins and delish in soups and sauteed in butter with a little bit of lemon juice.
Sam1148 January 31, 2011
Collards were my first thought also Nora.
Good call.

But they can sometimes be hard to find outside of the south.
I do like Collards, white beans and ham in soup.
Nora January 31, 2011
Terrible not find chard! Try another store.

I suggest collards rather than kale or mustard. Collards are sweeter and milder. I would cook them separately until done, simmer with the lentils for a few minutes.
Sam1148 January 31, 2011
I'd probably go for something more substantial than spinach for a winter dish.

Kale, or mustard greens would be a substitute. Cook it a bit before adding to the soup. With those be aware they need to be cleaned very well, as with leeks, they can have sand on them. Some stores sell them pre-washed in bags. Still you'll need to prep them by trimming off some of the tough stems..and chopping the large leafs into shreds. Some Nappa cabbage would work also.
hobbybaker January 31, 2011
Thank you for the quick responses!
nutcakes January 31, 2011
Yes spinach with lentils is delicious too. I make one with curry powder and tomato and lemon.
mainecook61 January 31, 2011
Frozen spinach (thaw it first) would be perfectly acceptable and perhaps a sturdier substitute than baby spinach.
cookbookchick January 31, 2011
Check this food52 recipe out for a lentil soup with spinach in it:
Blissful B. January 31, 2011
Spinach is a good substitute, but doesn't need to be cooked as long as chard. I'd add it at the very end of the recipe -- stir it into the soup & cook it just 1 minute.
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