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Chicken, Chard and Rice Soup

12 December

Serves 6 – 8

There is no chicken meat in this soup, only chicken stock. You can use vegetable stock instead if you like. You can also substitute kale for the chard; just remember that kale requires longer cooking times. In this recipe, the Lacinato kale would work better than the Red Russian.

2 bunches chard (about 1 1/2 pounds) (can substitute kale)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
6 – 8 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
3/4 cup Basmati or short-grained rice (I use brown Basmati or short-grained brown rice — so much better!)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and pepper to taste
More Parmesan cheese for garnishing

1. Wash chard well and cut leaves into strips and chop stems. (If using kale, omit stems.)
2. In a 4 – 5 quart pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until softened.
3. Add the chard and stir to coat with the butter. Cover the pot and heat for 4 – 5 minutes to wilt the chard.
4. Add 6 cups stock; bring to a boil and add the rice. Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
5. If soup becomes too thick, add more stock.
6. When the rice is done, add fresh Parmesan and parsley. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
7. Serve piping hot sprinkled with more cheese.

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