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Swiss Chard Feast

It may be summer already where you live, but where I live we can still find delicious leafy greens at our farmer’s markets. So for this week, I decided to cook up two chard recipes from The Art of Real Food, Swiss Chard Soup and Fried Chard Stems with Blue Cheese Love (I adore that the authors call anything fattening and delicious “love”). I had planned on only making the soup, but the recipe for the stems was directly opposite, and it used the stems, while the soup used the leaves….it just seemed like a magical pairing. So I did both.

I am so glad I did.

I served the fried stems as an “appetizer” while the pasta was cooking in the soup. All of the kiddos enjoyed them, though only the Sweetie Pie and the Peanut (who devours anything that’s a condiment) appreciated the blue cheese sauce. The stems were a cinch to prepare and cook. I used plates, instead of bowls, for the dipping process, just because I found it easier that way. And I used ghee for frying, instead of the recommended butter and olive oil, just as a matter of personal preference.

Since they cooked up so quickly, I had allowed more time to prepare them than was needed and they were done a bit before dinner time. I kept them warm in the oven, which I don’t recommend. Definitely plan to serve these fresh from the skillet.

And you might be thinking you could just serve them with some ranch or blue cheese dressing off the shelf, but please don’t. I couldn’t sample the Blue Cheese Love, but I could tell by looking and smelling that it was divine. Freshly made it was creamy and smooth. The leftovers in the fridge have thickened and make a wonderful veggie dip or sandwich spread.

The soup was a smashing success with all the tummies at the table. Everyone loved it and slurped up at least two bowls. I doubled the soup recipe, so we still had leftovers. The leftovers made a delicious second dinner a few nights later (I freshened it up with some chopped tomato and shredded chicken–also a winning meal).

I had a Parmesan cheese rind in the freezer, so I threw it into the pot for added flavor.

We loved this soup as it is, but it is also infinitely adaptable. You could add some ground turkey or shredded chicken, zucchini or tomatoes or pumpkin. Depending on what time of year you’re making it, you could add in just about any other seasonal veggie you have on hand.

The authors have generously given us permission to share with you the recipes that we cook from their fabulous book. You’ll find both the soup and the chard stem recipes below.

Print Recipe

Swiss Chard Soup

Delicious and adaptable! The authors thank Lynn Archer for the basic recipe.

Source: The Art of Real Food by Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny

Serves: 4


  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 bunch chard leaves coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups stock
  • 2 potatoes peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound penne pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated


  1. In a large pot, heat oil and lightly saute garlic, celery, and carrots. Add chard leaves and saute 2-3 minutes. Add stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Add pasta, reduce heat to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes, until pasta is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with cheese.

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Print Recipe

Fried Chard Stems with Blue Cheese Love

Serve immediately. The authors thank Lynn Archer for inspiring the recipe.

Source: The Art of Real Food by Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny

Serves: 8


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg beate
  • 2 bunches young chard stems cleaned and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil


  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 oz. Pt. Reyes blue cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine flour, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. In another bowl, place beaten egg. Dip each stem in egg, then flour mixture. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet, and fry chard stems until golden brown on both sides, 4-7 minutes.
  2. Place on a paper towel to dry, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve warm with Blue Cheese Love.

To make Blue Cheese Love:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat cream and reduce by one half. Turn off heat, stir in cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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