Chard

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Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.

Chard

Swiss Chard and Garbanzo Bean Soup

Swiss Chard and Garbanzo Bean Soup

Nothing in my garden has done better than my beautiful and hardy Rainbow Swiss Chard.

I never would have grown Swiss Chard, but three things made it happen this year. The first was that, since I was planting in July, I needed to plant vegetables that were able to withstand brutal heat but also fare well in the coming cooler weather.

Second, my brother grew Red Swiss Chard this summer. He picked some from his garden while I was visiting in June and asked if I could cook it for him. I made it too spicy for his taste, but I loved it.

The third reason I grew this vegetable is because my husband went with me to the nursery and picked it out (how could I say no?).

At first, I thought it wouldn’t survive the heat when I planted the tiny seedlings. Even though they had partial shade during the day, they still looked a little droopy. Never did I think they would grow into tall, full, beautiful multicolored leaves, but they did!

Rainbow Swiss Chard for Swiss Chard and Garbanzo Bean Soup
It is an absolutely gorgeous plant. What’s better is that the chard plants have been in their little earth box for three months, continually sprouting new leaves.

I just keep cutting leaves off the side of the shoots near the base of the plant. I did this to make it last as long as possible, and it still hasn’t quit. It hasn’t had a single pest problem or caught a disease. It’s the healthiest, tastiest, prettiest plant that I ever did grow.

If you’re interested in starting a small patio garden, I recommend this as a perfect pot plant to begin with.

Rainbow Swiss Chard from my garden.

The hard thing isn’t coming up with recipes to use it in but having enough of it for the recipes I come up with! I planted six seedlings, and I’ve only been able to make a few recipes. I’ve been wanting to try it in a nice fall soup, and I finally got my chance.

With the recent cooler weather, my chard flourished even more, giving me a huge crop that complements this simple vegan vegetable soup very nicely. This recipe is quick to make on the stove, but you can cook it in the crock pot easily, too.

Just make sure you add the chard during the final minutes of cooking. While it can withstand longer cooking times, it tastes best lightly cooked.

And don’t you dare throw those beautiful stems away! Cook them in my Swiss Chard with Bacon recipe or fry them in some olive oil, salt, & black and red pepper.

Ingredients:
(Scroll to the bottom for easy to read and print recipe card)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup sweet white wine, such as Riesling
1 bunch Rainbow Swiss Chard (10-12 leaves),  coarsely chopped or torn and stems removed

Directions:

1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, salt, and pepper. Cook onions for three minutes, then add carrots, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of cooking stock and a splash of white wine. Cook for about five minutes.

Sautéing onion.

Sautéing onions and carrots

2. When onions are translucent looking and carrots become soft, add celery, sage, thyme. Cook for two minutes.

Add celery.

3. Add garlic, stir, and cook for no more than 30 seconds. Add vegetable stock, the rest of the white wine, and garbanzo beans and stir.

Add garlic.

Add vegetable stock.

Garbanzo beans in a colander.

4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

5. After 15 minutes, add the chard and stir. Cover and cook for five more minutes. Remove pot from heat and uncover. Serve and enjoy. I’d love to hear your comments!

Chopped Rainbow Swiss Chard with Stems removed.

Adding the chard to the soup.

Swiss chard and garbanzo bean soup

Close up of swiss chard soup.

Even closer close up of swiss chard soup.

Swiss Chard and Garbanzo Bean Soup
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 yellow onion
  3. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 2 carrots, diced
  6. 2 celery ribs, diced
  7. 1 teaspoon sage
  8. 1 teaspoon thyme
  9. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  10. 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  11. 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  12. 1/4 cup sweet white wine, such as Riesling
  13. 1 bunch Rainbow Swiss Chard (10-12 leaves), coarsely chopped or torn and stems removed
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, salt, and pepper. Cook onions for three minutes, then add carrots, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of cooking stock and a splash of white wine. Cook for about five minutes.
  2. When onions are translucent looking and carrots become soft, add celery, sage, thyme. Cook for two minutes.
  3. Add garlic, stir, and cook for no more than 30 seconds. Add vegetable stock, the rest of the white wine, and garbanzo beans and stir.
  4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes, add the chard and stir. Cover and cook for five more minutes. Remove pot from heat and uncover. Serve and enjoy.
Notes
  1. You can cook this in the crock pot, too. Just make sure you add the chard during the final minutes of cooking. While it can withstand longer cooking times, chard tastes best lightly cooked.
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

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Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon

Rainbow Swiss Chard with bacon from dontmissdairy.com
 

This summer I planted my garden very late, because I was traveling for most of June. I had to choose some late summer vegetables like cucumbers and peppers. I did research and read that chard is a perfect vegetable to grow in July in California, so I grew some beautiful Rainbow Swiss Chard in an earth box right on my patio.

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon from dontmissdairy.com

Isn’t it pretty?

My chard quickly flourished, so I needed to cook some before the leaves got too big and bitter tasting. I didn’t have much to cut–about 12 stems–but it seemed like enough for a side dish for two. I cut the larger leaves from the outside of the plants and put them in a bowl of water. I let them soak for 15 minutes to get nice and clean and plump.

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon from dontmissdairy.com
The portion was almost perfect, but it turned out so amazing that I really wanted another helping! If you are cooking for one follow this recipe, but double it for two or three people.

The chard cooks quickly, so I cut off the stems and cooked them in olive oil before adding anything else to the pan. While the colorful stems were sautéing, I chopped up the leaves and some precooked, cooled bacon strips (uncured is the healthiest). The bacon could also be crumbled up into bacon bits.

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon from dontmissdairy.com
Rainbow Swiss Chards with Bacon from dontmissdairy.com

This has been deemed the best Swiss chard recipe of all time by my husband. He joked that he married me because he knew in three years, I was going to make the best chard he’s ever had, so it would all be worth it. I think it was really just the bacon. Maybe I need to start using more bacon.

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 12 leaves rainbow Swiss chard with stems
  2. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  4. 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (a dash or two)
  5. dash sea salt
  6. dash black pepper
  7. splash red wine vinegar
  8. 2 pieces uncured bacon, cooked to desired crispiness
Instructions
  1. Soak your chard in water for a few minutes, then rinse well and shake dry or use a salad spinner. Cut off the stems to cook first.
  2. Over medium heat, add olive oil to a nonstick pan. Once the oil gets hot, add the chard stems and cook for 3-5 minutes until they become translucent but not too soft. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the chard leaves and bacon.
  3. Add red pepper flakes (according to your heat tolerance) and minced garlic to the pan, cooking for no more than 1 minute.
  4. Add chard leaves, sea salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar, tossing quickly to coat and allow to cook for one minute. Add bacon. Cook chard for a few minutes until liquid absorbs and leaves wilt. Serve hot and fresh!
don't miss dairy http://dontmissdairy.com/

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon from dontmissdairy.com

Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon from dontmissdairy.com
 
Rainbow Swiss Chard with Bacon from dontmissdairy.com
 

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