Lentil Vegetable Farro Chard Soup is a hearty, nutritious soup that’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Some of you might know that I started Jeanette’s Healthy Living as a place to record recipes I was making for friends and people in my community with cancer.
My first experience cooking for someone with cancer was over 12 years ago when a co-worker underwent chemotherapy for a rare form of breast cancer. I spent many days with Francine, bringing her meals, taking her to doctor’s appointments, and just sitting by her side. We got to know each other on a more personal level, and became friends, no longer just co-workers.
After fighting cancer for seven years, Francine eventually lost the battle at the young age of 39. I was heart broken, but I learned something from this experience. I learned that food can comfort the sick, and that giving a bit of my time to help someone going through cancer treatment, can mean a lot to that person.
Helping a person can take the form of cooking meals for the cancer patient, driving them to chemotherapy or doctor appointments, cleaning up the kitchen, doing the laundry, reading to them, or just sitting by their side quietly as they rest. Just knowing there is someone who cares is what matters.
Since then, I have cooked for eight other women in my community who have had cancer. Although I did not know any of these women well when I first offered to cook for them, I became good friends with many of them because I spent a lot of time with them.
Cooking for cancer patients is something I have a heart to do. I believe it is a God given gift, something that I enjoy doing, and is one small thing I can do to make things easier for friends in need.
This French Lentil Farro Chard Soup is one of the soups I made for a breast cancer survivor six years ago. I still remember how much she enjoyed this soup. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and fiber, and is good for helping to keep blood sugar levels in check.
- Onions and leeks contain the antioxidant quercetin, help reduce inflammation and help lower blood sugar
- Carrots are a good source of the beta carotene, an antioxidant
- Celery is a good source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber
- Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant
- Swiss chard is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory
- Lentils and farro (a whole grain) provide protein and fiber, and also help control blood sugar levels, which is important during chemotherapy to reduce risk of metabolic syndrome
- Dried herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary and tarragon (all of which are in Herbs de Provence) are rich in antioxidants
This is a versatile soup recipe, as are most soups. I used French lentils because I like how they hold together in this soup, but you can use any lentil of your choosing. Same goes with the farro – barley or brown rice work well too. Leafy green vegetables are added towards the end of cooking – spinach and kale would be fine if you don’t like Swiss chard.
Make this soup or another one of my Cancer-Fighting recipes for someone you know that’s going through cancer treatment. There’s so much comfort in just knowing someone cares.
French Lentil Farro Chard Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra olive oil
- 1 leek white and tender green parts only, washed thoroughly, chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- 1 cup French green lentils picked over and rinsed
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking farro or barley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence (a mix of rosemary thyme, oregano, basil, lavender, tarragon, savory, fennel)
- 15 ounces can diced tomatoes
- 9-10 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 1 bunch rainbow swiss chard washed and thinly sliced
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- minced parsley or basil chiffonade for garnish, optional
- Saute leeks, onion, carrots and celery in olive oil until slightly soft, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add lentils, farro, Herbes de Provence, tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, about 1 hour, until lentils are tender. Add more broth or water as needed. Stir in swiss chard and cook until just tender, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with minced parsley or basil chiffonade, if desired.
For extra protein, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
For a gluten-free version, use brown rice instead of farro or barley.
If you want to make a pureed soup, puree the soup before adding the chard. Serve with a dollop of Kale Basil Pesto (or use a combination of kale, Swiss chard and basil).