Chili Cream and Swiss Chard Soup

So we steep chilies in cream at work to make delicious spicy cream. And there was a batch recently that got left to steep for a bit too long. My co-worker Jen was going to throw it out but I said, WAIT! That is delicious spicy cream! It is fatty and spicy and those are two of my favourite things! I shall take this spicy cream home with me and make soup.

She raised an eyebrow and did a little nod which let me know that she was skeptical about the idea. Sure, you do what you want, she said. And I did. By god I did. I went to my friend Angela’s house and made this soup with her. I will be moving in with Angela in a few months and am more excited to move in having made this soup with her in her kitchen.

First off I didn’t really know what to do with the cream. But then I got to thinking about Groundnut Palaver that also involves creamy spicy things and doesn’t need stock. I took that as a spring board and… made the soup that I describe below. I am very proud of it. (No salt and pepper!) I think that it is quite adaptable and could be delicious with additions such as dumplings or even made as a broth for cooking shellfish. Oh gosh the shellfish would be good. This soup really likes bread especially if it’s some kind of crusty sourdough variety. I feel good after eating it, just like when I eat Groundnut Palaver but it’s not quite as heavy.


  • ~1 c. whipping cream
  • ~1 tbsp. crushed chilis
  • a dollop of olive oil for the pot
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • ~1 tbsp. of fresh ginger, minced
  • ~1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • ~6 c. water
  • ~5 cloves
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • a small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized potato, diced
  • 1 tbsp. genmai (dark) miso
  • 2 heaping tbsp. shiro (golden) miso
  • 1 bunch dinosaur a.k.a. black a.k.a. lacinato kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch red-stemmed swiss chard, stems removed and sliced and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 can of black eyed peas or the equivalent amount of cooked dry beans

Note: If you are raising your eyebrow about the choice to add miso to this soup, I would like to direct you to my post Miso Soup with Everything. This soup here was interesting because I usually don’t use dark miso. It’s so pungent and crazy that I usually shy away from it (being someone who likes to use LOTS of whatever ingredient I’m using). I found that the balance of the two different misos was great in this soup, however. Perhaps I will start venturing into different misos. I guess they are really comparable to how many different kinds of cheese there are out there.

A day or two before: If you are using dried beans, put them in water to soak & then cook them. Mix the cream with the chili peppers in a bowl and let it steep in the fridge. A couple days later strain the chili peppers out. You could potentially also steep the cloves in the same cream. I cooked mine in, but found the clove flavour increased over time. I’d suggest either steeping the cloves in the cream or placing them in a muslin bag of some kind when you cook them in the soup and then removing them afterwards to control the flavour intensity.

Day of:

  1. Throw the oil, onion, ginger and fennel seeds in the bottom of the pot and saute over medium heat until the onions start to turn translucent.
  2. Add the water, carrot, celery, parsley, potato, chard stems, miso and cloves and simmer until the potatoes are half cooked.
  3. At this point I added my kale because it was quite tough. If you have fresher more delicate kale you can add it just moments before the swiss chard.
  4. Once the potatoes are just barely cooked, throw in the swiss chard and slowly add the cream to taste. Also add more golden miso if you’d like. Cook as little as possible beyond this point, just until the chard is lovely.
  5. Serve with crusty sourdough bread or maybe some kind of rye.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. This soup sounds really delicious! I can’t wait to see you! soooooon!


  2. Bethany says:

    This sounds awesome and amazing. I really like your cooking style.

  3. Mona Banek says:

    Love the photo of the beautiful chard and your very talented hands. Makes me remember your lovely knitted hat. if I make this soup I’ll leave out the deadly kale and add more chard.

    1. Thank you Mona, though I can’t take credit for that picture. It’s actually a picture that Erin took of her hands (see the wedding ring?). She posted it on her simple swiss chard recipe and I co-opted it for this post. My soup looks pretty but I didn’t take a picture of it before I ate it all!

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