THE CHARD GOT out of hand while we were gone. Especially the red chard. It's interesting how different the three chards are: the red gets gigantic and tough; the white seems wimpier but more attractive to various scales and bugs. Returns aren't in yet on the "rainbow" chard; it's at the center of the little potager I planted back in May and I haven't yet penetrated to it.
Well, today I confronted the chard. Yesterday I'd already pulled up the bolted arugulas and lettuces; today I began hacking at the chard. I brought in some of the outside leaves, discarding the worst of them for compost; rinsed them off; and cut the usable leafy material from the stalks.
The stalks got chopped into small pieces and added to a chopped onion that was sweating away in a pool of olive oil. I let them brown a bit, adding salt and a couple of finely chopped carrots, and then I drowned them all in water and let them simmer an hour.
Meanwhile I chopped the leaves into squares an inch or so across. I added chicken stock to the simmering soup, then threw in the chopped leaves. Simmer another half hour and correct salt. A slice of toast, rubbed with raw garlic, to float on top, and a drizzle of olive oil. Nice.