Use It Up #3: Chard Chicken Chowder

Whenever I look in my fridge and see a bunch of random veggies that I need to use up, I immediately think, "Time for soup!" That's what I did this week with my homemade broth and remnants of my whole roasted chicken made in previous posts on this week's Washington's Green Grocer blog.

I just so happened to have chard, which is rare, considering how much I love this vegetable. Ironic, because there was a time in my life I'd be more likely to eat a sleeve of Oreos and wolf florescent orange Cheetos than cook up Swiss chard. Once I realized its leafy greens do everything from make skin soft and supple to ward off cancer, I jumped on its phytonutrient bandwagon. Now, chard one of my favorite ingredients ever -- especially for soup. I mean, added flavor and wrinkle prevention? Yes, please!

For this recipe, I scrounged up ingredients that had been kicking around my refrigerator for the last week -- feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand, but the chard really makes the soup.

CHARD CHICKEN CHOWDER

three tablespoons coconut oil or butter
two bay leaves
teaspoon thyme
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
salt (to taste...my favorite is Himalayan)
one bunch Swiss chard, chopped
one sweet potato, diced
two large potatoes, diced
one leek, quartered and sliced
several garlic cloves, minced
three stalks celery, chopped
three carrots, chopped
one cup frozen corn (I think my half eaten bag was someone's makeshift ice pack at one point)
three cups roast chicken, shredded
five cups chicken stock
1 cup Natural by Nature half and half

Saute leek and celery in a generous amount of coconut oil until translucent on medium high heat. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for an additional two minutes or until the greens wilt. Pour in chicken stock. Simmer on low for 20 minutes (or until potatoes are fork tender). Add half and half; simmer two more minutes.