When I heard this week’s Sunday Supper would focus on Comfort Food Soup and Stew recipes, I figured it would be a good time to dust off this Spicy Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard recipe. I originally shared this recipe nearly five years ago, and it was time for some updates!
This Spicy Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard recipe was originally inspired by a post New Year’s desire to make healthy meals on a modest budget, making up a bit for excesses of the holiday season. Lentils are certainly a healthy and frugal option to work into your meal planning. I especially like red lentils. Another favorite red lentil recipe is this Penne with Red Lentils and Ginger, which was a featured #WeekdaySupper recipe a few years back.
Though the recipe has “spicy” in the name, the flavors aren’t eye popping hot (though you can kick up the cayenne quantity if you like it real hot!). This soup has just enough spice to give you some robust flavor and send a comforting warmth from your belly down through your toes.
Making Spicy Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard
This is a pretty easy recipe to put together. You sauté the onions, carrots and celery, then add the garlic followed by the lentils and spices. Add your liquids and simmer for 20 minutes or so. You can prep and boil the chard as the lentils simmer.
When it’s time to purée the soup, an Immersion Blender makes the task so much easier! I’m including my Amazon affiliate link there in case you need to grab one. If you don’t have an immersion blender yet, you can transfer the soup in batches to a food process or blender. I do like to leave a few bits of the carrots and lentils for consistency.
The recipe has you cook the chard separately (more on that below), then add the chard to the puréed lentil soup to finish the recipe.
Cooking Swiss Chard
When I first made this recipe, I simply cooked the chard in with the rest of the soup, toward the end of the process. I have recently come across some suggestions that it is best to boil chard briefly, in order to reduce acid content and bring out a sweeter taste. Here’s an article on the subject. The majority of of recipes do seem to recommend boiling chard, and that’s the way we went with this recipe. But plenty of sources suggest chard can be eaten raw or sautéed, as well as boiling.
Pairings for Spicy Lentil Soup
A Gewürztraminer is often my go-to for foods with some spice, and that’s what we paired with our Spicy Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard. We had a Gewürztraminer from the Alsace region of France. With a taste of honey and lemon, and a bit of slate, it was definitely a good pairing for the spicy soup. A Riesling could be another good alternative.
A spicy soup like this could also be a night to pair your meal with a beer. If that’s the way you are leaning, an IPA style beer tends to be a good pairing for spicy foods.
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stock, chopped (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups red lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium bunch chard, large stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
- bay leaf
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- generous pinch cinnamon
- generous pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot on medium medium heat. Add the onion, cook for a few minutes until it begins to soften.
- Add the carrots and celery, followed by the garlic. Cook for another minute or two, then stir in the lentils with the other tablespoon of olive oil. Add the dried spices at this time--cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir to combine.
- Add the broth and water to the pot, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer uncovered. Add the bay leaf and the soy sauce. Simmer uncovered for at least 20 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are soft.
- As the lentils are simmering, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chard, and boil for 3 minutes. Drain the chard, and press out the excess water from the chard. Set the chard aside.
- When the lentils and carrots are soft, purée the soup using a handheld blender. Alternatively, transfer the soup into a food processor to purée in batches. I like to leave a bit of the lentils and carrot pieces for consistency.
- Stir the cooked chard into the puréed soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat the spicy lentil soup with Swiss chard for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve hot and enjoy!
Comfort Food Soup and Stew Recipes #SundaySupper
- “Make it Your Own” Soup Bar by The Freshman Cook
- Baked Potato Soup by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup by Our Good Life
- Chicken and Dumplings by Palatable Pastime
- Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup by Pies and Plots
- Gnocchi, Sausage & Spinach Soup by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Habitant Pea Soup by What Smells So Good?
- Instant Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup by Sunday Supper Movement
- Meatball and Orzo Soup by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Milchnudeln (German Milk Noodles) by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Mushroom Fennel Soup by Caroline’s Cooking
- Pasta Fagioli Soup by Soulfully Made
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili by Cricket’s Confections
- Crock Pot Chicken Posole by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Slow Cooker Smoky Chicken-Potato Soup by The Weekend Gourmet
- Spicy Brazilian Seafood Stew with Coconut Milk by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Spicy Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard by Cooking Chat
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