In the winter I tend to eat more dark leafy greens. Kale and Swiss chard are my favorites. I like to throw them in soups and make a meal out of it. I came up with this recipe when I spotted beautiful bunches of Swiss chard at my local Whole Foods. I couldn't resist the bright orange stems and emerald leaves. Packed with calcium, vitamin C and Iron (1 cup chopped will give you 10%, 53% and 22% of your daily requirement respectively), my Taiwanese mother would say, "it's good for physical." Yes it is mom. This soup is really easy to make and I threw in some mini meatballs I made with pork, veal and beef for added protein. You can tailor it to include whatever veggies you like or keep it simple like I've done here. To make it a hearty lunch, I added some small pasta shells but you can use any kind you like. If you have small kids, they might like alphabet or little star shaped pasta.
Here's what you'll need.
4 cups of organic low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 leek chopped (use only the white parts)
1 bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
24 mini meatballs (see recipe)
A dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
In a dutch oven or large stock pot, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat. Stir frequently until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped leak and continue to saute for 2 minutes until they are softened. Add the Swiss chard in batches, letting the heat from the dutch oven wilt the leaves.
Add the nutmeg and season again with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and meatballs and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15-18 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta separately according to the package directions. I recommend cooking the pasta separate from the soup so it doesn't absorb all of the broth. Just add it to your individual serving bowls and top off with a ladle of the soup.