It is not dairy-free, or vegetarian, or vegan. Three things it could be should you wish to eliminate the milk and butter, substitute vegetable stock, or eliminate the milk and butter and substitute vegetable stock. It would still be good in all those instances, but this is how I liked it best.
This is a good weeknight soup to have when your weekends are slammed with calorie-laden Christmas parties and you’re feeling more like Santa Claus and less like Hanukkah Harry (I’m guessing he’s a bit slimmer). It’s not comfort-food, but feel good food, especially when it is cold and snowy outside, which I am pleased to announce that is one thing it is not here in North Dakota.
I love the texture and flavor of black rice, but you could use barley, brown rice, or farro. Just choose a grain that has some bite and doesn’t easily get soft and soggy.
- 1 cup uncooked black rice
- 2 large bunches swiss chard
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thoroughly washed and dried
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 6 cups chicken stock, or low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- Bring a medium saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Rinse rice and add to boiling water. Cook until rice is slightly underdone, drain, rinse under cold water until cool and set aside.
- Remove chard leaves from the stem. Wash stems and leaves thoroughly. Chop each and set aside, keeping them separated.
- Heat butter and oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted add leeks, celery, and chard stems. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until the flour smells like cooked pie crust. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring continuously, then add chard leaves.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Puree with a stick blender or in batches in a blender. Stir in milk and cooked rice and return to a simmer. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g