Sunday, November 20, 2011

swiss chard soup

Swiss Chard Soup & a glass of Nebbiolo
I mentioned in Friday's post that the Goose Fair lunch features a Swiss Chard Soup, made by a small swarm of dedicated volunteers.  Try to imagine a group around a large industrial-type kitchen, all chopping away and making the building blocks of a soup that will nourish so many.  It is truly a labor of love.  My recipe is inspired by this and by a traditional bean and chard soup from Italy.  There is still some chopping and plenty of yummy vegetables - but can easily be put together for a family of 4+ (with extra for leftovers - this soup reheats well).  This batch will be lunch for me this week as we prepare for the holidays and our annual pilgrimage to NH.

Swiss Chard Soup

EVOO to cover the bottom of your soup pot
1/2 onion, chopped small
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 stalk of celery*, diced (yikes - I was out so used a dash of celery salt)
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t fresh rosemary (can substitute dried)
2 anchovy fillets
1 t Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 bunch of swiss chard (can substitute kale)
1 can red kidney beans
8 c of chicken broth
1 c of dried, small pasta (I use Ditalini)
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese, grated for serving


1. Prepare your veggies - rinse the chard, chop your onions & carrots. I also took a moment to chop the chard stems in half-moons and the chard in short ribbons.  Drain your beans.

2. Heat your pot and cover with EVOO.

3. Add onions, carrots, garlic cloves and *celery to the pot. I use 1/2 t kosher salt here to help them 'sweat'.  Saute for several minutes until the onions are translucent.

4. While waiting, mince the anchovy fillets and rosemary together to almost a paste.  Add to the saute with the bay leaves.  Leave on med-low heat to soften further, 5 minutes or so.

5. Add your chard and beans - I covered to help the greens wilt a bit.  Once the leaves had reduced by almost half, I remove the garlic and bay leaves.  (If you minced your garlic, I think it is perfectly fine to leave it in the soup.)  Add the broth. Bring to a boil.  If your soup needs more liquid (some ingredients are not exact - it should be to your liking) then I recommend adding water or more broth.

5 Add the dried pasta, return to a simmer and let cook for 6 minutes more.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with grated parmesan.

Great reheated the next day!

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