Looking for something green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? This Spring Green Soup is great for cold days in March, and is packed with healthy vitamins, too. It can be made with other greens, but we chose spinach and chard.
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. Himalayan sea salt, divided
2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup arborio rice
1/2 bunch green chard (about 1/2 pound)
8-10 oz. gently packed baby spinach (about 12 oz.)
4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
1 Tbsp. lemon juice or more to taste
Big pinch of cayenne pepper
Lemon zest for garnish
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Trim the white ribs out of the chard (save for another use, such as to add to a stir-fry or other soup). Coarsely chop the chard greens and spinach.
4. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chard greens, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the rice along with the spinach, vegetable broth and cayenne. Cover and simmer again, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green.
5. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest.