Before my parents moved out of our childhood home a year or so ago, my mom spent about a year prior to that downsizing all of our (material) things, including her collection of cookbooks. Which means somehow I ended up with the 1998 Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. And I’ve actually cooked out of it…which leads us to tonight’s meal.
Spoiler alert: this (adapted) recipe is a go-to in our house. I make it when I’m feeling run down, tired or feel like I really just need a big bowl of nutrition. (Yes, that is a feeling). I’ve made it with all different types of broth and greens; I think the combination of Swiss chard and beef broth is the best.
Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard
- olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups beef broth (veggie, mushroom, chicken, beef, even mixed with water – whatever you have.)
- 1 cup dried lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
- 1 big bunch Swiss chard, leaves shredded (I like the red Swiss chard best, though we’ve also used mustard greens, collard greens, kale and even spinach. The only big miss was the mustard greens.)
- handful cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- crushed red pepper
- juice from 1 or two lemons
- Optional: cilantro, parmesan cheese
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and then add onions. Cook for about 4-5 minutes; add garlic. Keep stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn, and then add broth and lentils. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are cooked through (about 35 minutes).
- Add the Swiss chard, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper. Cook until chard wilts, above 5-6 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Eyeball the broth – make sure there’s enough in there to meet your needs!
- Serve with cilantro and – if you’re feeling decadent – parmesan cheese.
I made tonight’s version with a combination of chicken and mushroom broth, which didn’t quite pack the same punch as beef broth. But it was delicious, all the same, and makes plenty of leftovers (again, if you’re feeding only two people). And it would have been super healthy, too, had the Husband not had his with a side of…mini frozen pizzas. You win some, you lose some. At least we got that bowl of nutrition.