Spinach Salad And Cannellini Bean Swiss Chard Soup

Here are two green dishes which can be eaten together or at different times of the day as part of a meal or for a mid-meal snack. In other words, they are a go anytime, anywhere. They are both easy to make from readily available ingredients.

Spinach Salad: Wash the leaves of a large bag of fresh baby spinach leaves or spinach leaves picked directly from the garden and dry them using a salad spinner or paper towels. Put the dried spinach leaves into a large salad bowl and add the juice from one-half lemon. Add about one cup of mandarin orange segments from which the juice has been drained and toss all lightly with poppy seed dressing and honey roasted almonds. The amounts of these last two items are generous but discretionary.

Cannellini Bean Swiss Chard Soup: To a pan containing about 45-50 oz. of chicken broth warming over a medium heat add a handful of freshly cut up  carrots, celery and onions. Some or all of the latter can be green onions or the central parts of several leeks, finely sliced. Bring this mixture to a small rolling boil and add about one-half cup or a couple of handfuls of uncooked wild rice or almost any other kind of rice if you prefer. Bring to a boil, cover and then simmer under low heat for 20-25 minutes.

Add one 15 oz can of drained cannellini beans.  Continue cooking and add a large bunch of finely cut Swiss chard. Continue on low boil for about 10 minutes  and add about one-half cup of mixed dried or freshly cut up fresh garden herbs–in my view preference should be given to a freshly and finely cut mixture or parsley, dill sprigs and basil leaves in about equal parts, all directly from the garden. Add salt and pepper to taste near the end. Please note this is a soup with a great collection of tastes including fresh herbs (if you have them) and it is necessary to avoid adding excessive amounts of salt and pepper, as the aforementioned tastes tend to stand on their own.

Once completed both soup and salad can be refrigerated and used for snacks or for complements to meals throughout the day and into the next day. You can prepare both simultaneously in about an hour if the ingredients are at hand.

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