Cream of Chard & Pea Soup

Serves 4, along with a loaf of homemade bread.

Combine in your slow cooker or in a heavy pot, and cook at a slow simmer

1 big bunch of chard, ribs cut out (and saved for stock) and chopped fine.
1 10 ounce of frozen peas (this is the reminder of summer).
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, depending on your tastes
1/2 teaspoon salt
generous pepper
4 cups soup stock or water/vegetable bouillon cube.
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 sweet potato, chopped in 1" chunks

You'll also need: 1 cup low fat sour cream, and several tablespoons of lemon juice.

Simmer about 15-20 minutes.

Puree 1/2 to 2/3 of the vegetables in your blender and return to the pot.

Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into 1 cup of non-fat sour cream; slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot broth to the cream/flour and stir it in.

Pour the sour cream / broth mixture back into the soup and simmer it, stirring occasionally for another 10 minutes until it is slightly thickened. Note: the flour keeps the sour cream from curdling in the hot broth and thickens it a bit more.

Add lemon juice to taste.

Croutons, probably saved from the heel of your last loaf of bread are nice in this soup. I toast them lightly in a skillet.

Serve piping hot.

From the kitchen of Jennifer Miller