Herb, Chard, and Feta Soup
Yotam Ottolenghi via Bon Appétit , January 2012
(Makes 4 Servings)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb Swiss chard leaves (center ribs & stems removed) or spinach, coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces plain Greek-style yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, and mint), divided
4 ounces feta, crumbled, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh lemon juice (optional) olive oil (optional)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft (do not brown), 7–8 minutes. Stir in chard, broth, parsley, cilantro, fresh and dried mint, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pan. (Do Ahead: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm soup before continuing.)
To garnish and serve:
Place 1/3 of yogurt in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm soup; whisk until smooth. Repeat process twice more, adding a total of 1 cup more soup. Whisk yogurt mixture into soup in saucepan. Stir 1/4 cup herbs and half of feta into soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining 1/4 cup herbs and 2 oz. feta. Drizzle with oil, if desired.
Notes/Results: This is a really good soup--full of glorious green herby flavor and quick and easy to make. The yogurt, lemon and feta keep the flavors balanced and prevent it from being too green tasting. Go as fresh as you can here--the herbs and mixed (rainbow and Swiss) chard I used were all locally grown and it shows in the soup's taste. The smallish bunch of chard I bought only yielded about 8 cups with the stems and centers pulled off so I added about 3 1/2 cups of baby spinach to make sure I had enough greens. I found that between the broth (I used "no chicken" base in water) yogurt and feta, (locally made from Naked Cow Dairy and delicious), and the lemon juice, no extra salt was needed.
This is the kind of soup that you feed your body and it sighs in relief and tells you it is willing to overlook the 3/4-bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs and other junk that you consumed this weekend. ;-) A small bowl of this soup would be an excellent way to start a nice dinner, a larger bowl with some fresh bread is satisfying as a meal. A definite make-again soup for me and a great way to start off my IHCC Ottolenghi journey.
Starting April 1 and continuing through the end of September, I Heart Cooking Clubs is cooking the recipes of Yotam Ottolenghi. Join us every week for a different fun theme or drop by whenever you want to explore the recipes of an amazing chef with a wonderful group of people in a positive environment.
I'm posting a day early for IHCC to coincide with Souper Sundays but you'll be able to check out how everyone says welcome or Shalom Yotam Ottolenghi! by going to the post this week and following the links.
Easter Sunday is a little quiet in the Souper Sundays kitchen but we have three lovely soups waiting--let's take a look.
Janet of The Taste Space kicks us off with this nourishing bowl of Indian Sprouted Mung Bean Stew with Greens and says, "I was drawn to this Indian mung bean stew for its simplicity but I knew it would not be lackluster. Instead of the typical red lentil curries I adore, this is a brothy soup. A flavourful broth is created from fennel, cumin and ginger. Indian cooking doesn’t always have to be thick curries. Carrots and collards add colour and mung beans make this filling. Lemon juice brightens it up. The curry powder is added as a finishing spice, at the end of cooking, for a different twist to the soup."
A new face to welcome to Souper Sundays is Brittany of Brittany Cooks , joining in with this hearty Cheesy Green Chile Potato Chowder . She says, "Since it's snowing here in Cincinnati (is it spring yet?), I thought it would be okay to share another soup recipe before things start to warm up. The soup alone is flavorful and filling, but adding the toppings at the end is what makes it awesome! If you're still bundled up and scraping ice and snow off your car like me (sigh), I think a hearty bowl of this soup will help you get through the last bits of winter. If you're enjoying warmth and sunshine, know that I am incredibly jealous!" Welcome Brittany!
Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food heads to Tuscany with her dish saying, "This Tuscan Bean Soup recipe is adapted from Saveur.com and I enjoyed every part of it. I have actually cooked it many times, more frequently in the winter months of December, January and February when such a hearty and wholesome soup is called for. That said, it is suitable anytime if you are a "soup" person, like me. ... This soup is a one-pot, rightfully balanced with vegetables, beans (proteins) and carbs (potatoes). Thick and chunky but without the use of any cream!"
Thanks to Janet, Brittany and Tigerfish for joining in this week. If you have a soup--or salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.
Happy Easter Sunday and have a happy, healthy week!