As I sit here writing this, its just a few days before Thanksgiving and I am already anticipating the food fest about to rain down! My big extended family starts the holiday off at my parent’s house with a huge Italian pasta night, complete with all-you-can-eat homemade spaghetti and meatballs, gnocchi with peas and parmesan cream sauce, salad, and cakes to celebrate every birthday within a three month radius. It’s amazing and delicious and clearly a reasonable way to spend the night before the biggest meal of the year!
So….I am also anticipating the need to get back on track quickly after two days of ALL. THE. FOOD. What better way than a bowl of greens?! Not that you need any excuse to make this easy miso swiss chard soup. Sometimes, simple is best. Especially when your body’s been processing a lot of things you don’t normally eat, food and drinks that you might not typically be shoving in your face the rest of the year. Not to mention the cocktails. Yikes. Alkalinizing greens, anyone?! And speaking of that, if swiss chard is a little too earthy for you, sub it out for kale, which is right after spinach in terms of taste bud-friendliness when you’re dealing with the dark leafy greens.
This recipe is inspired by a soup my friend makes using kale, and she throws shredded chicken and zucchini noodles in there as well. So feel free to go rogue here! The main point is to simmer up some veggies and broth and allow them to fill in all the nutritional gaps left by buttery casseroles and pecan pie. Give the old liver a rest and snuggle in for some holiday movie watching!
Regarding the miso: you can leave this out if you don’t have it handy, but I like to add it for two reasons. First, I love the flavor it adds, which is a unique salty, umami taste. Secondly, miso is a fermented food (typically from soybeans) and therefore a natural source of healthy probiotics. So just another way to give your gut some love after T-day! Tip: you want to make sure you don’t boil the miso and kill the healthy bacteria. After the soup is done cooking, remove it from the heat and take a few tablespoons of the broth out of the pot and into a small bowl. Let it cool for a few minutes, then add the miso to the bowl with the broth, and whisk/stir together until the miso has dissolved. Pour it back into the soup pot and gently stir to combine it all.
Finally, the customizations! The red pepper is totally optional, but I love a good spicy kick so I am kinda heavy handed with it. I also love to throw some chopped green onions on there for a little extra crunch and flavor. You can sub another kind of white bean, but I like to use chickpeas because sautéed greens are soft and I like the harder bite of a chickpea versus cannellini or navy beans. If you want this even heartier, pour it over a bowl of your favorite grains. (And if you want to really go rogue with my vegetarian recipe, do what my brother and his girlfriend did and throw in some cooked chicken sausage at the end. Ack. But they said it tasted great, so FYI for any meat lovers out there!)
Let me know what you think if you give it a try!
This simple miso swiss chard soup gives your body a healthy dose of alkalinizing greens along with a spicy kick!
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups broth (I use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken flavor)
- 2 cup water
- 6 cups roughly chopped greens (swiss chard, kale, or a mix) (remove stems before chopping)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp miso
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicy!)
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion (optional, for topping)
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softening but not brown. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add in the broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the greens, chickpeas, and crushed red pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until the greens are cooked/softened/wilted.
Remove the pot from the heat. Take a few tablespoons of broth and add to a small bowl. Allow broth to cool for a few minutes, then add the miso and whisk/stir until well mixed. Add the broth/miso mixture back into the soup pot and gently stir to combine.
Top with green onions and serve!