- 1 large Swiss chard bunch
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 bunch green onions sliced
- 1 cup cilantro - (loosely packed)
- 5 cups water - (to 6)
- Salt to taste
- 1 large baking potato
- 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 2 onions chopped
- Marsala or Sherry optional
- 2 garlic cloves - (to 3) finely chopped
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 dash cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or more to taste
Wash the greens thoroughly, then cut the chard and kale off their stems and slice the leaves. Combine the chard, kale, green onions and cilantro in a soup pot with the water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Peel the potato, or just scrub it well if you prefer, cut it into big pieces and add it to the pot. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about half an hour.
Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and a sprinkle of salt and cook them over low heat until they are golden brown and soft. This will take up to 45 minutes; don't hurry, you only need to give them a stir once in a while, and it's the slow cooking that develops the sweetness.
If you like, you can deglaze the pan at the end with 2 tablespoons of Marsala or Sherry. Increase the heat to medium, remove the skillet from the stove, and add the Marsala. Return it to the stove and cook the onions, stirring, 1 minute. Add the onions to the soup.
Put another teaspoon of oil in the skillet and cook the garlic over low heat, stirring, until it sizzles and smells great, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic to the soup pot and simmer everything for a few minutes more.
At this point there won't be much liquid in the soup, so add enough broth -- about 3 cups -- to make the soup a soup. Coarsely puree the soup but don't over-process it (When you puree the soup, it's easiest to use a hand-held blender in the pot, rather than transfer the hot soup to a blender. If you do use a blender, puree the soup in small batches). Anything with potatoes in it can get slimy if you work it too much.
Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer and taste. Add salt as needed, grind in a little black pepper, add the cayenne and the lemon juice. Stir well and taste again. Now you're on your own -- correct the seasoning and serve big steaming bowls of green soup.
This recipe yields 8 servings.
Each serving: 109 calories; 742 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 2.58 grams fiber.