Chard and Pea Soup with Cilantro-Mint Pesto
Posted by fourclankitchen on April 17, 2011
Our local farmer’s market is now showcasing early summer greens: chard, cilantro, basil and kale. I overbought and worked late a couple of nights, resulting in a fridge full of lovely vegetables that needed to be eaten. So I made soup. I combined frozen peas with chard for the soup base and made a garlicky cilantro-mint pesto (minus the chesee and nuts) for an intensely fresh-tasting summer, herby soup (herbacious if you are a grammer maven). See for yourself.
For the Soup:
2 tbs. oil ( or butter for a richer taste)
4 cloves garlic (sliced or minced in the food processor)
1 small onion, diced in the food processor
2 cups peas (10 oz frozen, use the petite kind, these are sweeter and less starchy)
6 leaves chard, thick stems removed and coarsely chopped (these were bought at the farmer’s market, use 4-5 store bought leaves)
1 heaping tbs. better than bullion (or replace with chicken stock and reduce the water)
4-5 cups water
Few grinds of black pepper (optional)
1 tbs. lightly beaten yogurt (optional)
1. Set a pot of water to boil and blanch the chard and the peas for 3-5 min. Drain.
2. Add oil in a large soup pot. When hot, add the cumin and garlic and saute for a few seconds, until fragrant.
3. Add the onions and saute for about 5 min, then add the chard and peas.
4. Add a heaping tbs. of “better than boullion”, and mix thorughly so that it is fully incorporated, then add the water. Alternatively, add chicken stock.
5. Bring the soup to a boil and turn off the heat.
6. While the soup is coming to a boil, make the pesto.
7. In a food processor, add garlic, cilantro, mint, olive oil, lime juice and salt to taste.
8. Pulse till fully pureed. Remove to a small bowl.
9. Scoop out the solids from the soup into the food processor and pulse briefly till it forms a coarse puree.
10. Add this and the pesto back to the soup pot. Bring to a boil. Taste and adjust the salt. Add a few grinds of black pepper.
11. Ladle into bowls and garnish with yogurt if desired.
12. Serve with your favorite bread or with parmesan crackers (what we ate). Mmmmm…