Rainbow Chard Soup with Pickled Chard Stems

By • August 6, 2014 2 Comments

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Author Notes: Light and fresh, this Rainbow Chard Soup is a perfect summer meal alive with vibrant greens, yellows, pinks and reds. What makes this soup summer-appropriate is its light mouthfeel, bright flavors, and an all-star ingredient list, featuring a bounty of beautiful seasonal produce. And I personally don't mind eating hot soups during the warmer months :)Kitchen Konfidence


Serves 2 - 4

For the Rainbow Chard Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 10 scallions, roots trimmed, white and light green parts chopped, some dark green parts reserved
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, stem removed, finely chopped
  • 7 ounces full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed and served, leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 handful baby spinch leaves
  • lemon juice
  • optional toppings: Greek yogurt (or creme fraiche), toasted chopped almonds, toasted coconut flakes, sliced scallion greens, pickled chard stems (recipe below)
  1. Trim the stalks and the root end of the fennel. Reserve some of the fennel fronds, but discard stalks and tough root. Cut the fennel bulb in half, and slice out the core. Discard core. Chop remaining fennel into 1/2-inch pieces.
  2. Warm butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped fennel, scallion, garlic and jalapeño, and saute until the fennel starts to soften (about 5 minutes). Add coconut milk, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add water, rainbow chard leaves and salt, and cook until the leaves are tender (about 5 minutes).
  3. Transfer soup to a blender with a handful of baby spinach leaves, and blend until smooth. You can add a little water if the soup is too thick. Season to taste with lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon) and additional salt.
  4. To serve, divide soup between 2 bowls (entree) or 4 bowls (appetizer), and top with Greek yogurt, toasted chopped almonds, toasted coconut flakes, sliced scallion greens, and pickled chard stems.

For the Pickled Chard Stems:

  • stems from 1 bunch of rainbow chard, ragged ends trimmed
  • flavorings: fennel frond, fennel seed, garlic, red chile flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Cut each stem into a 1/4-inch dice, separating the white/yellow pieces and the red/pink pieces into different bowls. To the bowl with the white and yellow stems, add a few reserved fennel fronds and a small pinch of fennel seeds. To the bowl with the red and pink stems, add 1/2 a garlic clove and a small pinch of red chile flakes.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm vinegar, water, salt and sugar, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, let bubble for a minute, then take off the heat. Divide the pickling liquid between the two bowls, and let stems pickle for 1 hour before serving. Store pickled chard stems covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Soups|Pickles