I’m crazy about greens. Something green and leafy is available in Michigan year-round, and they are so healthy. I’ve been playing around with a recipe that originated from The Splendid Table. I’ve made it with kale, spinach, chard, and even nettles and asparagus. You can use any combination of these greens as long as you get the amounts below. Asparagus has a stronger flavor, so when I use it, I add a bit more lemon juice.
Makes 6 servings
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for garnish)
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3-1/8 cup vegetable broth
¼ cup Arborio rice
1 pound Swiss chard, tough stems trimmed
12 ounces spinach, tough stems trimmed
Big pinch of cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
1. Weigh and wash the greens. Coarsely chop them.
2. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are dark and caramelized. It takes about 20 minutes.
3. Combine the 3 cups of broth and ¾ teaspoon of salt in a large pot; add the rice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
4. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the Swiss chard. Return to simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes.
5. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them. When the Swiss chard has been cooked for 10 minutes, add the caramelized onions, spinach, and cayenne to the large pot.
6. Return to simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green – about 5 minutes more.
7. Puree the soup in a blender in batches until perfectly smooth. Stir in 1 Tablespoons of lemon juice. Taste and add more if desired.
8. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.