Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup



Quick Chard and Lentil Soup

Gazpacho Soup CSA Style

Dozens of ripe, lovely tomatoes and cucumbers arrived in this week’s CSA box, and with them I made a delicious batch of gazpacho soup. This Spanish-style soup tastes great chilled, and cools the body quickly on a hot day. Recipe and photo by Linda L.

Takes: 20 minutes, plus chilling time

Serves: 6 


  • 1 large cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 large tomatoes – ripe and red
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces tomato juice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (1/8 cup balsamic; 1/8 cup red wine)
  • 1 whole pita bread
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • My secret ingredient: 1 tbsp El Zarape green salsa [optional]


  1. Mix olive oil and vinegar.
  2. Tear pita bread into s 3” pieces.
  3. Soak pita bread in oil/vinegar mixture for 5 minutes, drain bread.
  4. Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not over process!
  6. Add bread mixture and process.
  7. After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, cumin and ‘secret ingredient’.
  8. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop. I usually like to make 24 hours before serving.

Cucumber Gazpacho

Hot, sticky days make cooking a sweltering chore, and this cooling soup is an antidote. Here’s an easy, cold gazpacho-style soup using seasonal cucumbers, avocados and basil from Allyson Kramer.


1 ripe avocado
1 medium cucumber, skin on and seeds removed
2 small bunches of basil
1 clove garlic
2 scallions, both green and white parts
2 cups water
1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lime, juiced


Chill the ingredients and the blend until desired smoothness. Return to the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. Garnish with thinly sliced cucumbers and basil leaves.

Serves 4. Takes 10 minutes.

Beef stock worthy of sipping

Beef broth from the grocery store fails to capture the rich, seasonal flavor found in homemade beef stock. Once you start making you’re own, not only will you feel more nourished and every dish will taste better, but you’re guests will notice. I add a dash of this stock to to most dishes to boost flavor and nutrition. The key is making the stock with marrow bones from grass-fed, pastured cows and using the freshest, darkest color vegetables available. I find the bones at my local health food store, but I have to ask the butcher; he doesn’t put them out on display.


Large stock pot
Sharp knife
Cutting board
Large glass or ceramic bowl
Mesh or fine strainer
Stainless steel ladle
Option A: 4 quart-size canning jars, sterilized and a pressure canner
Option B: 8 quart-size freezer bags


2 pounds grass-fed beef marrow bones
1 large bunch of celery with leaves, cut in half lengthwise
1 large bunch of carrots, whole
1 large red onion with papery skin on, quarters
1 tablespoon organic tomato paste
12-16 cups filtered water


Add the bones, celery, whole carrots and quartered onion to the pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, then uncover and simmer on medium for two hours. If using a pressure cooker, cook at 15 pounds of pressure for 60 minutes. Strain into a large bowl. Stir in tomato paste. If canning, ladle into sterilized quart jars and process at 15 psi for 45 minutes. If freezing, allow the broth to cool for 30 minutes; then ladle 2-cup portions into freezer bags and lay i flat stacks in the freezer.

Takes about 2 hours start to finish and makes 12 cups. Sip and enjoy!

Minestra di Herbe Passate Soup

5 TB Butter 1/2 Carrot, chopped 1/2 Onion, chopped 8 cups herbs: Cilantro, Chives, Spinach, Sorrel, Lettuce leaves 2 small Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 1 TB salt plus to taste 4 cups water or more to cover, OR chicken stock with lemon Juice Optional: croutons, chives, herby oil, sour cream, yogurt to garnish

Melt the butter in a big soup pot.  Add the carrot and onion and cook until tender .  Add the potatoes, water and salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and cook at a simmer until the potatoes are completely tender and beginning to fall apart.  Add the herbs.  Taste the soup and salt until the broth tastes good.  Blend in batches until it is as smooth as possible.  If the soup seems fibrous, pour it through a fine-mesh sieve.  This can be served hot or cold.
Squeeze with lemon juice just before serving and top with little croutons and any other herbs or garnishes.

Carrot Fennel Ginger Soup

Carrot fennel soup captures the essence of comfort: sweet flavors combine with a creamy texture satisfying enough to be a meal on its own.

This recipe and photo appeared on KnowYourFarms.com and was adapted here.


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seed
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and diced
1 pear – peeled, cored, and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small russet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 (14 ounce) cans vegetable broth
2 tablespoons uncooked brown rice
1 tablespoon flax seed
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly toast the fennel seed and ginger in the hot oil until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the carrots, pear, sweet potato, russet potato, mushrooms, curry powder, and turmeric to the fennel seed; cook and stir until everything is evenly coated in oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the vegetable broth over the mixture. Stir the rice, flax seed, bay leaves, and parsley into the broth; bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the rice and vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway. Hold the lid of the blender in place with a towel and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the mixture moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot and return to heat.
  3. Stir the lemon juice and white pepper into the mixture; cook until thoroughly reheated, about 5 minutes.