Armenian Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup

It’s not like I haven’t been cooking lately. On the contrary – it’s been a full-on cooking madhouse in my kitchen for the past several weeks. We had a great old friend and teacher, Father Mark, visiting us for the better part of a week, and people, we cooked ourselves silly. Fr. Mark was one of the first friends to really teach me about cooking, back when I was still in college. I thought I had absorbed his lessons, but when he visited this time, I discovered that I still had a lot to learn.

Of course, none of this made it to the blog because it would have been literally impossible to document any of the recipes. Fr. Mark cooks by feel, and (at least for celebratory meals) with heavy reliance on serious restaurant-style taste enhancers – bacon fat, butter, cream, salt, whole bulbs of garlic. I couldn’t even reconstruct half of what he did. My hope is to perhaps get his pepper soup on-line – maybe around the time that the night shades start to make their appearances on our shares. Until then, it’s back to the peasant food for us!

So. Here’s the opposite of all things creamy and fatty and unctuous. But I quite like the simplicity of this recipe, and I hope you’ll agree that it makes a crazy healthy bunch of veggies into a satisfying simple meal.

  • 1 C dried lentils
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • EVOO
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 C broth
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stemmed (with stems chopped), and leaves chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 – 4 tbs fresh chopped coriander or cilantro really helps to punch this recipe up, but is not necessary

Rinse lentils. In a small pan, boil lentils and several cups water until lentils are soft, approximately 30 – 45 minutes.

In a soup pot, add a few swirls of EVOO and the onion, and cook until onion is soft and sweet, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Add stock and chard and bring to a boil. Cook 20 minutes.

Drain lentils, and then add them to the pot with the onion and chard. Add 2 to 4 more cups of water to reach the desired consistency. Add the juice of half a lemon. Taste and adjust seasonings. If using, swirl in coriander now. Serve with hot bread.


About christianathomas

I'm a working mother of two trying to make eating well fit into our hectic lives. I also used to own a completely chaotic bakery. Follow me for tips and tricks on how to get more whole foods into your diet.
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