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Recipe for Health: Cream of Chard Soup

Swiss chard seems to be A-O-K for heart health.

Cream of chard soup

A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association reports that if we eat more foods that are high in vitamin K—like the cream of chard soup below—our risk for atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular diseases, especially peripheral artery disease, is lower.

The findings, using data from more than 53,000 individuals taking part in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study over a 23-year period, also showed that high intake of vitamin K1 (commonly derived from green vegetables including kale, collards, Swiss chard and spinach) was tied to a 21% lower risk for hospitalization due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events. High intake of vitamin K2 (commonly derived from some meats like pork and beef liver, egg yolks, and certain fermented foods including aged hard cheeses) was tied to a 14% lower hospitalization risk.

Although more research is needed to understand the heart-benefiting process, it’s thought that vitamin K you get from spooning up this comforting cream of chard soup may help prevent the building up of calcium plaques in our arteries.

1 T canola oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1/2 t salt

1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 t herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning

1/2 t black pepper

1/4 t cayenne

4 C low-sodium vegetable broth

6 C chopped Swiss chard leaves

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 C cashew milk

grated parmesan cheese, for garnish

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Place onion and salt in pan and heat until onion has softened and is darkening, about 6 minutes.  Add potato and garlic; heat 2 minutes. Place herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning, black pepper, and cayenne in pan; heat 30 seconds. Pour broth in pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered until potato is fork tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in Swiss chard and lemon juice and remove from heat; let sit 10 minutes to allow greens to soften. Place soup in blender and blend until smooth. Return to pan and stir in cashew milk; heat gently for 5 minutes. Place soup in serving bowls and top with parmesan. Makes five servings.

See also: Recipe for Health: Carrot Saffron Soup


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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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