Pancetta (pan-CHEH-tuh), an Italian bacon that's cured with salt and other spices, contributes a unique flavor to this soup. Regular bacon can be substituted, although it has a smokier taste. Unprocessed kernels of wheat, or wheat berries, are sold in health food stores with other hot cereals.
1 cup uncooked wheat berries
7 cups water
1 cup dried lentils
3/4 cup chopped pancetta (about 3 ounces) or 3 bacon slices, chopped
Place wheat berries in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Cover; let stand 1 hour. Drain well; return wheat berries to pan.
Cover with water to 2 inches above wheat berries. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook over medium-low heat, partially covered, 45 minutes or until tender. Drain; set aside.
Combine 7 cups water and lentils in pan. Bring to a boil; partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add pancetta, and simmer 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain the lentil mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sauté 8 minutes. Add Swiss chard, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add reserved cooking liquid, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in wheat berries and lentil mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.
Note: Each serving provides 99 micrograms of folate.