Winter is the time to break out the home-canned tomatoes for a pot of soup. Tomato soup is probably my favorite soup, year-round, but I really crave it in cold weather. This version has lots of vegetables, including a swirl of Swiss chard ribbons added in at the end, plus some smoky flavors from the spices. I added crumbled goat cheese to the top, which was splendid but optional.
This is a simple soup that involves some chopping and blending, but it has a really rich depth of flavor. It is even better the next day. Since I am working on integrating even more vegetables into daily meals, I am putting this one on heavy rotation. If you don’t have home-canned tomatoes, I recommend using Pomi brand as a substitute.
Spinach is a an excellent substitute for the chard if you prefer, and if you skip the goat cheese this is a great vegan main dish. Vegetable-packed meals are helping me in my continued quest to lose weight, and this is a warm, rich, salad in a bowl.
Winter Tomato Soup with Chard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 sweet red pepper, stem and ribs removed, chopped
- 1 bunch chard
- 3-4 cups chopped tomatoes with juice (home canned, if possible)
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- salt, to taste (depends on the salt level of your tomatoes)
- crumbled goat cheese, for garnish
- In a 5-quart pot, heat the olive oil and onion over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens. Add in the garlic, red pepper, and the chopped stems of the chard. Cook for another few minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes, water, chipotle pepper, and smoked paprika. Bring the pot to a simmer and let it cook for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are all soft. Use a blender or an immersion blender to puree the soup (if using a regular blender, let the soup cool first, as hot liquids will expand in the blender and can be dangerous).
- Cut the chard greens into ribbons and add them into the pureed soup. Bring it back to a simmer and cook until the chard is soft. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Serve warm, sprinkled with goat cheese, if desired.