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Soups

Potato and wild chard soup

Potato and wild chard soup
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times
Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes
  • 1 large bunch chard (about 1½ pounds)
  • Salt
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • New-season extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
  • Parmesan, for garnish

Step 1Peel and cut the potatoes into small dice. You should have about 4 cups. Wash the chard in several changes of cold water, drain and then strip the leaves from the stems. Reserve and dice the chard stems. You should have about 1½ cups.

Step 2Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook chard leaves in boiling water until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, and spread them out to cool. With your hands, squeeze out the excess water. Rough-chop the chard leaves.

Step 3Peel and finely chop the garlic. Sweat the chard stems in olive oil over medium heat in a 6-quart stockpot. After 2 minutes, add the garlic and pinch of salt; continue sweating for 5 minutes.

Step 4Add the potatoes and 2 quarts of cold water to the chard stems. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. Add the chopped chard leaves and simmer 2 to 4 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (we added 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper). This makes about 3 quarts soup.

Step 5Serve with a drizzle of new-season, cold-pressed olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan.

Note: Adapted from “Zuppe: Soups From the Kitchen of the American Academy in Rome” by Mona Talbott. Talbott suggests serving the soup over a slice of toasted bread or with a poached egg.

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