In possession of a couple of lovely bunches of rainbow chard from Full Circle Farm, and inspired by a post a while back on 4488: A Ridge Blog, I decided to make a chard and sweet potato stew the other night. People, I have to tell you, it was so good.
For something so simple, it was really, really beautiful. Maybe it was the fantastic 2003 Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon I used in it, or maybe it was just the synergy of the superfoods (sweet potatoes and chard are both nutrient-packed), but either way, it was a great winter dinner. Add a salad of mesclun greens and baby spinach from our garden and a chunk of crusty bread, and it was perfect. Who says a vegetarian stew can’t be hearty?
Chard and Sweet Potato Stew
Based on this recipe
2-3 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 bunches chard
1 large sweet potato
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
herbes de provence*
salt and pepper
Add the olive oil and garlic to a soup pot and sweat over medium heat, stirring. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and saute until softened. Turn the heat down and cook until caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.
Strip the chard leaves from the stems and roughly chop both the leaves and the stems. Peel the sweet potato and chop into bite-sized cubes. Once the onion is golden brown, turn the heat back up to medium and add the chard leaves and stems. Stir until wilted. Add in the sweet potato cubes and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the stock and water and bring to a low boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until the potato starts to soften, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add in a healthy splash of wine (one glass for you and one glass for the pot should do it!), a generous sprinkling of herbes de provence, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Slice the cheese into thin strips. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with cheese. Serve just as the cheese is beginning to melt.
* Substitute thyme and/or fennel seeds if you don’t have herbes de provence (I didn’t).