Jordanian Spring Greens Soup

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Makes 6 to 8 servings.



  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium-low heat, add the onion and leek and saute until limp and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring now and then.
  2. Add the garlic and fennel and cook 5 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the chard stems into small dice and add them to the pot with the other vegetables.
  4. Season with salt and continue to cook until all of the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.
  5. Add 6 cups water and stir in the rice and the red pepper flakes.
  6. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, cut the chard into ½-inch crosswise slices.
  8. If using stinging nettles, use tongs to plunge them into boiling salted water, cook for 30 seconds and rinse in cool water.
  9. Stack the nettles and cut them into ¼-inch wide crosswise slices.
  10. Cut the sorrel and beet or turnip greens into thin crosswise slices.
  11. If the spinach leaves are small, leave them whole; if they are large, cut them as you have cut the other greens.
  12. Add the greens and stir until they are wilted.
  13. Add 2 cups water and simmer 10 minutes.
  14. Taste, correct for salt and season generously with black pepper.