Recipe: Swiss chard (or beet green) soup.

I have a question for all of you long-time bloggers!  Do you periodically go through past entries in your blog and do a refresh? (Fix broken links, add new updates, redo or add new photos etc.)?  Flowery Prose turned ten years old in March of this year and while I’ve tweaked a few little things here and there, particularly with the themes, I haven’t ever done a thorough clean up of old posts.  What is your process for doing this?  Or have you just left everything as is?

This recipe is from an old post that I’ve revised to better categorize the content.  Finding it again was a bit fortuitous, as this spring I decided to use up some old Swiss chard seeds I had kicking around – and had excellent germination rates with them. (Don’t chuck ancient seeds! The charts may “say” they’re not viable after a certain point but it never hurts to try. If you’ve stored them properly, you might have a chance at success).  The plants are still small – again, as with everything this year, I’ll just chalk that up to our wacky spring weather – so I’m not attaching a photograph.  No need to brag.  😉

Swiss Chard (or Beet Green) Soup

5 cups chopped fresh Swiss chard or beet greens (or a combination of the two)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tbsp milk (dairy or non-dairy, such as cashew)

freshly cracked pepper to taste

1/2 cup Havarti cheese, shredded (use a vegan substitute, if preferred)

Sauté the chard or beets, the garlic, and the onions in olive oil in a large saucepan until the greens are reduced.  Add the stock and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.  Remove the soup from the heat, cool it slightly, then carefully purée it with a hand blender. Add the milk and cheese and reheat gently (do not boil).  Add pepper to taste.

Yield: 2 generous servings

What are your favourite ways to eat Swiss chard and/or beet greens?  Or do you dislike them entirely?

Embracing winter.

I’ve decided that “embracing” winter is silly when all it does is backhand you a good one every time you try to get near it.  Today’s blizzard (which started the very second I opened the door this morning to head out to work) is certain proof that I should just stay away.  Far, far away.  Somewhere with plenty of sun and sand.

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Is time-travel less expensive than a tropical vacation?  Maybe we can fast-forward to spring….

Some comfort food has definitely been in order lately, so I cooked up this insanely delicious Vegetable Navratan last night.  It took me nearly two hours and I even cheated by using frozen vegetables and reducing the amount of garlic  (no-no’s, I’m sure), but it was worth every second in the kitchen.  The leftovers were even better reheated tonight.  Warm belly food, for sure.  And if you want to make your own garam masala to use in the recipe, check out this DIY mix.     Yum!

To continue the theme of food and winter, this tidbit of weird news caught my eye – apparently the town of Williams Lake, British Columbia, is using beet juice to de-ice the roads.  I suspect the practice has my hubby’s vote of confidence, given that he doesn’t think beets are fit for human consumption:  “The only good beet is the one pureed under my truck tires,” or something to that effect.  Next thing I know, he’ll be boxing up the beets we receive in our CSA basket and mailing them out to Williams Lake.

And what about these absolutely horrific vintage recipes?  I just HAVE to share this link with everyone…after all, I was brought up to be polite and I simply wouldn’t feel right if I was the only one suffering from a queasy stomach.  I have to know, though:  if you grew up in the era of these culinary masterpieces, did you or someone you knew ever cook or eat these?  Or something just as…creative?  😉

I hope you have a fun week – no matter what the weather!