Marinated Swiss chard and beef soup

I’ve wanted to cook a sorrel soup (which is called in Ukraine ‘green borsht’) for a long but I never saw sorrel on sale in Slovakia. My Slovak friends told me that, of course, they knew what sorrel is but most of them had never heard that it could be used in soup. Sorrel soup should be a little bit sour, it makes this soup special and that is why it was difficult to find a good substitution. Sometimes spinach is used together with sorrel in green borsht, but I never liked it because boiled spinach leaves remind me wet toilet paper (sorry!), so combination of spinach and lemon juice was not an option. Last Saturday I discovered that it’s an autumn season of Swiss chard and decided to use it in the soup. It worked perfectly 🙂

Ingredients
4l. of stock – you can use chicken, beef or vegetable stock. I will give instructions how to cook a proper stock in my cooking book that is coming next year, but now I will just ask you not to cook this soup using water as you will not get the right taste. My favourite stock for this soup is a reach beef stock.
1 big bunch of Swiss chard (approx 300-350g)
1 bunch of green onions (Swiss chard/onions proportion is 2:1, so you will need approx 150g)
5-6 middle sized potatoes
juice from 1 lemon
hard boiled eggs  and sour cream for serving (yes, using sour cream in almost each soup I make is a part of my Ukrainian cooking heritage)

Directions
1. Remove stains from Swiss chard leaves, cut leaves to 1 cm stripes, drizzle with lemon juice and let it marinate for the time you cook a broth. Cut stains to 1cm pieces and set aside.
2. Cook the stock, if it is cooked with meat, don’t take meat out of the pot when stock has been cooked (but vegetables should be taken out)
3. Add cut chard stains to a hot broth and cook it on medium heat until it is soft (it will take about 15 minutes).
4. Add potatoes, cut to 1-2cm cubes to a pot and cook until it is almost ready.
5. When potatoes are almost cooked, add marinated chard (with reminded juices) to the pot together with cut green onions. Cook for 10 minutes more.
6. Serve with eggs and sour cream if you like it.

2 tips
#1 Like most of “borscht and Co” soups this soup also tastes great on a second day. I cooked it in the evening before Sunday dinner.
#2 And a tip for food styling nerds: red chard stalks colour the stock. Keep in mind in case you want to make a photo and have to arrange decoration.

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