Savory Chard and Polenta Soup
5 cups vegetable stock (or no-chicken broth: I used Edward and Sons bullion)
1/4 cup polenta meal
2 tbsp parmigiano-teggiano cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, halved
1 large fennel bulb, sliced and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups chopped assorted mushrooms
1 28 oz. can tomatoes
1 cup or so fresh chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp of basil, 1 1/2 tsp marjoram
1 parmigiano-teggiano cheese rind OR thick slice of cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 cups chopped red chard

balsamic vinegar, to taste

Lay wax or parchment paper on a baking sheet or square plate.

Put 1 cup of stock into a pan and bring it to a boil, gradually stirring in polenta. Let it thicken and simmer until you have a good consistency. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese, mixing thoroughly. Then spread your polenta on the wax sheet evenly, creating a thin polenta “cake”. Reserve and let cool.

Meanwhile, heat you oil in a large soup pot. Throw in the onion, fennel, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or so. Then add your carrots, mushrooms and cook for another 5 to ten minutes. Stir as needed. When onion look translucent and lightly browned, add your broth, tomatoes, herbs and cheese rind or cheese slice.

After bringing to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper! Next, cut your polenta into cubes and put them in the soup, being careful not to break them, and simmer for another 5 minutes or so.

To serve, drip a little balsamic vinegar into each individual serving soup. Yummy!

DH, who hates chard, ate it with gusto and pronounced it “very good.” Whahahahah.