This is my new favorite soup in the whole wide world. A serving of this is only 170 calories, and it's super filling. With tons of delicious chard, fiber-rich lentils, and wholesome vegetables, this soup is a total winner, especially for those of us watching what we eat.
Yields 2 servings
¼ cup chopped onions
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped carrots
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped chard (chop stems and set aside)
1 tsp salt
½ cup lentils, soaked for 1-2 hours (masoor lentils work best)
3-4 cups broth
First, you wanna get your lentils soaked an hour or two before you start cooking.
Here we go...
Okay, so fast forward to when I'm ready to cook! Here I have my onions, carrots, and celery chopped up. These three vegetables are amazing together, especially to start off soup. I almost always start my soup this way.
So, in a large pot over low heat, soften the chopped onions, celery, carrots, and bay leaf in a tbsp of olive oil. It usually takes about 5-7 minutes.
Now, here is my beautiful chard! I used rainbow chard for this recipe because that's what I usually get in my CSA, but swiss chard works perfectly well.
Now, I find that the stems work really well as a soup base themselves. So I chop them up and toss them in the pot to soften along with the Onions & Company.
There we go.
This is also a good time to add some garlic to the pot. I don't put it in at the very beginning with the other vegetables because garlic cooks a lot faster, and you don't want it to burn. This is my frozen minced garlic that I have in my freezer for whenever I cook! Love it.
Okay, let's get back to our star, the beautiful chard. While the veggies finish getting soft and lovely, I chop the chard roughly. I chop them about the same as I chop my lettuce for salads, if that's a helpful comparison.
Alright! Now, the chard's gonna sit there for a while, but I'm ready to put the lentils in. Into the big pot with the veggies goes my soaked lentils, along with the 3-4 cups of broth. I use chicken broth because I love the depth of flavor, but you can very easily substitute vegetable broth for a totally vegetarian soup. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a decent simmer (about medium low heat) and let the lentils cook for about 6 minutes.
At this point, the lentils should be soft enough to eat, but still have a little bite to them.
To finish, I add the chopped chard that I had set aside.
Beautiful chard! Let it wilt into the soup for a couple minutes, then remove from heat.
Soup's on! Mmm, delicious!
Delicious! The tender lentils are mealy and hearty, the vegetables are soft and flavorful, and the chard is so yummy! It loses some of the sharp bitterness when you cook it like this, and it's just such a perfect pairing with the earthiness of the rest of the dish.
This is definitely my favorite soup right now...it even got a coveted "favorite" tag on this blog :) It's affordable, it's healthy, it's filling, and it's so satisfying. Make this on the next rainy day!
For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.
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