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This chard and spinach green soup has a complex flavor from slowly cooked onions and lemon juice. A small amount of rice gives it body and a velvety texture.

EatingWell Magazine, Soup Cookbook; updated December 2022

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What Makes the Soup So Green?

This soup gets its vibrant green color from green chard and spinach. Chard is a leafy green vegetable with large and crinkly leaves attached to a thick, crunchy, fibrous stem. It belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and is considered a type of beet without an edible root. When shopping for chard, look for firm stems and bright green glossy leaves free of blemishes (yellow or brown spots). Spinach is a high-protein vegetable and one of the first leafy vegetables to emerge in the spring. Look for slender stalks and crisp, dark green leaves with no signs of yellowing or wilting.

Is Green Soup Healthier than Other Soups?

Eating more vegetables is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to eat healthier. Incorporating nutrient-dense vegetables like chard and spinach into your soup can help you meet the recommended amount of vegetable servings a day. Chard is a low-calorie vegetable with numerous health benefits. It's a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin A. Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in iron, folate and vitamin C. Our green soup is low in calories, high in fiber and a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthier soup choice.

What to Serve with Green Soup?

Green soup is delicious on its own or paired with a side dish. Serve this green soup with Hasselback Cheesy Garlic Bread, Parker House Rolls, Low-Carb Cloud Bread or Garlicky Cauliflower Bread. For more ideas, try these healthy side dishes to pair with a bowl of soup to complete your meal.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Trim the white ribs out of the chard (save for another use, such as to add to a stir-fry or other soup). Coarsely chop the chard greens and spinach.

  • When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chard greens. Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the rice along with the spinach, broth and cayenne. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.

  • Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.

Equipment

Large skillet, soup pot or Dutch oven, immersion or countertop blender

To make ahead

Prepare through Step 4 (omitting the lemon), cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Season with lemon just before serving.

Nutrition Facts

1 3/4 cups
95 calories; protein 3g; carbohydrates 13.3g; dietary fiber 3.1g; sugars 3.4g; fat 3.8g; saturated fat 0.6g; vitamin a iu 7461.9IU; vitamin c 32.5mg; folate 98mcg; calcium 92.7mg; iron 2.5mg; magnesium 84.3mg; potassium 510.1mg; sodium 446.7mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 fat, 1/2 starch

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