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Swiss Chard Soup with Chickpeas and Barley

(An encore post.) I received a lot of emails asking for this recipe when I posted about it on Facebook and Twitter. As I said, I used the wonderful new Turkish clay pot I bought from tulumba.com on a hot tip from Paula Wolfert. The recipe comes from Greg and Lucy Malouf's beautiful book, Turquoise: A Chef's Travels in Turkey.This is a gorgeous book and if you're any kind of fan of Middle Eastern cooking, it's worth your time. I adapted this recipe a bit as I already had cooked the garbanzos and I prefer the chard a little more al dente. IMG_2485 Swiss Chard Soup with Chickpeas and Barley 2 tablespoon olive oil 1 small onion, finely diced 3 sticks celery, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 5 sprigs thyme 4 oz pearl barley 1.5 quarts chicken stock 2 bay leaves 2 cups cooked chickpeas 1/2 pound Swiss chard leaves (stems removed), shredded 1 long red chile, seeded and shredded 1/2 tomato, seeded and diced Sea salt Lemon juice to serve Greek-style yogurt to serve Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan. Saute the onion, celery and garlic over a low heat for 5-8 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Add the spices and thyme, then toss everything around in the pan for a few moments. Add the pearl barley, stock and bay leaves to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for around an hour or until the barley is tender. Add the cooked chickpeas and chard and simmer, uncovered, until the chard is wilted. Add the chile and tomato and season generously with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, remove the bay leaves and the thyme stalks. Ladle the hot soup into warmed bowls and then add a squeeze of lemon juice and a generous spoonful of yogurt to each. Serves 6-8 Recipe adapted from Turquoise: A Chef's Travels in Turkey (2008 Chronicle Books)

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