• Yield: 6 generous servings

  • Time: 10 minutes prep, 50 minutes cooking, 1 hour total

Here’s a simple and tasty soup that I think of as a “starter soup” —even someone who has never cooked could make this without any trouble. The amounts are pretty flexible, and the technique basic, and the result delicious.

Like many of my soups, this one really adapts to your taste with its garnishes. Try it with a spoonful of smoky salsa, or some crumbled queso fresco, or a plain white goat cheese. A drizzle of fruity olive oil on each serving is great, as are home-made croutons.


  • 1 large yellow onion (300 g.)

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 large yam, about 12 oz. (350 g.)

  • 6-7 green onions, white and green parts (100 g.)

  • 6 cups vegetable broth (1 1/2 liters)

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, about 12 oz. (350 g.)

  • fresh ground black pepper

  • a dash fresh lemon juice

  • Simple Chipotle Sauce, or other salsa (optional garnish)

  • crumbled queso fresco, feta cheese, or other goat cheese (optional garnish)

  • fruity olive oil (optional garnish)


Chop the onion coarsely and saute it in the olive oil, stirring often on medium heat until it is soft and beginning to color. Add the chopped garlic, and keep cooking on a low flame, stirring often, until the onion is golden brown, about fifteen more minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the yam and cut it in 1/2" dice. Wash the chard, slice the greens off the stems, and cut the leaves into 1-2" pieces. Thinly slice the chard stems. Wash and trim the green onions and cut them in 1/2" pieces. Combine the yams, chard, green onions and broth in a soup pot and simmer gently, covered, for about twenty minutes.

Add the sauted onions to the soup, and simmer another ten minutes, then taste. Add fresh ground black pepper, and some lemon juice to taste.

Ladle steaming hot soup into deep bowls, drizzle the top of each serving with some fruity green olive oil, drop a few crumbles of feta cheese on top, and pass a bowl of simple salsa.

Reprinted from Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author of The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas (W. W. Norton & Company, 2009). By permission of the author.

Anna Thomas is a cookbook author (The Vegetarian Epicure, The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two, The New Vegetarian Epicure) and filmmaker (including the Academy Award-nominated "El Norte"). She serves on the faculty of the American Film Institute.