1 cup large green lentils
14 oz Swiss chard
6 3/4 cup water
10 x garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1/4 tsp salt
Juice of 2 lemons or to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
* Spread the lentils on a platter and pick them clean of any impurities.
* Wash the Swiss chard, trim the dirty bottom ends of the stalks, if any, and chop into thin strips about 1/2-inch wide.
* Put the lentils and water in a large saucepan and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil, add the chopped chard, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and boil gently for 15 minutes. Mix the softened chard and the lentils well and cook covered for another 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
* In the meantime peel the garlic cloves, chop them coarsely, and put them in a mortar. Add a generous pinch of salt to absorb the juices released from the crushed garlic and pound with a pestle until you have a smooth paste. You could squeeze the garlic with a garlic crusher but the texture and taste of pounded garlic is finer.
* Slowly incorporate the lemon juice into the garlic paste, then the olive oil. When the lentils and chard an done, stir the garlic mixture into the soup. Season with salt to taste and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
* Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary and serve at room temperature.
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