Chard is a great autumn or early winter vegetable to grow. It can replace spinach in many recipes, and can be included in risottos, ratatouille, and lasagne. It also makes delicious soups, with a taste reminiscent of lentils.
Click here to see our guide on how to grow chard.
Chard Soup Recipe
Chard can be described as two vegetables in one. The stalks have the texture of celery and a delicate taste, whilst the leaves are more similar to spinach. Like spinach and beetroot, chard is a member of the beet family, and shares the high nutritional properties of this group.
Chard grows quickly, in a matter of weeks, and one row of plants will provide a harvest over several months. Chard can be harvested by pulling off one or two of the largest outer leaves from several plants. Young leaves will soon replenish what you have taken.
Chard is harvested at a time when many other ingredients ideal for soup are also ripe at the allotment. Onion, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes can all be added to enhance its flavour.
- 10 chard leaves and stalks
- 1 onion
- 1 potato
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tin of beans
(red kidney / butter beans / broad beans / baked beans etc.)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- Olive oil for frying
- 1 litre of stock
(or water plus 2 stock cubes)
Feeds four (large bowls).
How To Make Chard Soup
Once you have chopped all the ingredients, select a large saucepan (with a lid) and start by frying the onion in olive oil on a medium heat. As you fry, keep the lid on the saucepan to retain the moisture and speed up the cooking process. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. The onion is ready when it starts to turn transparent and tastes sweet.
Next add the hot stock, garlic, potato and chard stalks and cover to bring to the boil. Simmer for four minutes.
Finally, add the beans, tomatoes and chard leaves. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes (covered with a lid).
The soup is best left to stand for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly before serving. The soup can be blended to a smooth consistency to create a lentil like taste.
For more recipes, you may like to see this article on ‘Allotment Recipe Books‘.