My favorite part of this vegan Swiss chard lentil soup is its color. The deep red fits in with fall just wonderfully. Just as important is, of course, the soup’s sweet and earthy taste.
My love for chard is still rather new. Initially, I did not think much of chard at all. The vegetable I have actually loved since I was a small child is spinach. While other kids refused to eat their pureed spinach or spit it out, I would ask for more. I still love nothing more than potatoes with pureed spinach and a fried egg. Anyway, when I moved to Istanbul, I was delighted at all the yummy looking spinach dishes that were on full display in every lokanta. Spinach as far as the eye could see …
Only it turned out quickly that it wasn’t spinach but chard. Most dishes were more sour than I anticipated and they left a horrible feeling on my teeth from their oxalic acid. Often, the chard was also cut in bigger pieces, which I didn’t like either. I really did not enjoy the Swiss chard dishes in Turkey much. Now that I think about that might have mostly been because I expected spinach and I just didn’t know chard at all. It is not a vegetable my family ever cooked with.
Recently, I saw chard on our weekly farmer’s market and made an impulse purchase. I was already at the checkout when suddenly the rich colors of the chard appealed to me. Without much thinking, I added a big bunch of chard with deep red stems to my purchase and only considered at home what I would actually do with it. Good thing is that we love soups as soon as the temperature sinks to under 22 °C [like this or this]. Plus our fridge was full with other tasty vegetables that I thought would go nicely with the chard.
Eventually, I came up with the idea of this vegan Swiss chard lentil soup. It just looks like fall and tastes like it, too. While the chard leaves become soft, its stems remain crunchy. The lentils add a good amount of volume that makes you feel nicely full. As for the sausages, I chose Field Roast Italian garlic and fennel plant-based sausages. We love vegan sausages and hardly buy real meat ones anymore. But of course you could easily replace my choice with Italian sausages, chorizo or any other smoked sausage.
It did not take me long to make this Swiss chard lentil soup and eating it is so satisfying. The different vegetables and the sausage give such a rich flavor that you don’t need any spices besides salt and pepper. I especially loved that the chard didn’t leave any weird feeling behind on my teeth. Basically, it has passed the test and gained my love. I can’t wait to experiment more with this beautiful vegetable.
Recipe: Vegan Swiss Chard Lentil Soup
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 parsley roots chopped
- 1 big bunch Swiss chard cut into ribbons
- 1 big red tomato diced
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 200 g or 1 cup dried red lentils
- 1.75 l or 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 package vegan sausages 400 g
- salt pepper
- Prepare all the vegetables.
- Heat the oil in a big pot.
- Sauté the onion, carrots and parsley roots for a few minutes.
- Add the Swiss chard and the tomato. Sauté shortly.
- Mix in the tomato paste, the red lentils and the vegetable broth.
- Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add a bit more broth if necessary.
- Slice up the sausages and add them to the soup.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.