Sunday, January 23, 2011

Swiss Chard & Potato Soup with Poached Eggs

It’s a little chilly outside (approximately 7 degrees), so it’s time for a little pick-me-up/warm-me inside! Warm up with this spicy combination of wintery greens and potatoes pureed into a creamy soup and topped with a poached egg and arugula pesto. Armed with a piece of your favorite crusty bread for dipping, this soup is sure to keep you cozy.

Ingredients (Serves about 6)
1 ½ Tbs. Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), peeled and cubed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 cup white wine
5 cups vegetable stock (or use 5 cups water and 2 Tbs. bouillon)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like spice)
One bunch Swiss chard, chopped (about 4 cups)
1 tsp. thyme
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup Israeli couscous (optional, but it gives a nice texture and sold for $1.99 at Trader Joes)
2 Tbs. Balsalmic vinegar
Eggs (for poaching)
Vinegar (for poaching)
Arugula pesto or any pesto of your choice (for topping, optional)
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
In a large soup pot, add olive oil and onions. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat until the onions are caramelized. Add the potatoes, garlic, and carrot. Stir together and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir. Add the stock, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer about 8 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard, red pepper flakes, and thyme and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a food processor or blender, puree the soup in batches and return to soup pot. 
Over medium heat, add peas, couscous, and balsamic. Cook for about 10 minutes or until couscous is tender.
Meanwhile, boil about 4 cups of water in a pot. When the water comes to a boil, add about 3 Tbs. vinegar (white vinegar is fine, it just helps the egg whites coagulate around the egg yolk). In a separate shallow bowl, crack 1 egg and slide into the boiling water. You can add about 3 eggs to each pot of water. Once all eggs are in, turn off the heat, cover, and let cook for about 4 minutes (this should give slightly running yolks, cook longer for harder yolks). Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.
To serve, ladle bowls of soup and top with 1 egg. Dollop a spoonful of pesto (if desired) and finish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Serve it up with a piece of your favorite crusty bread and go warm-up! J

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Around the Table
We love good food, get excited for Market Basket & Trader Joe's, serve salad out of a pasta pot, marvel in food photography, and love to laugh. You're always welcome at our table. Click on this photo to view our "People Around the Table" album.