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Swiss Chard Soup

I love soup.  It’s one of those things I enjoy anytime of the year but it really hits the spot on a damp and dreary day.  We had one of those days last week and this is going to be another rainy week in New Jersey.  Bring on the soup!

This dish can be whipped up pretty quickly and doesn’t require many ingredients.  The Kale itself has a lot of flavor and it’s enhanced by the salty bite of pancetta.  Any green could be substituted if you don’t have Swiss Chard such as kale or escarole.

Swiss Chard Soup

Serving Size: 6 servings

Swiss Chard Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 oz pancetta, diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard cleaned ends removed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 plum tomatoes. quartered
  • 3/4 lb cut spaghetti
  • romano cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. Saute pancetta in extra virgin olive oil until they crisp up and become lightly browned.
  2. Add shallots and garlic and let them sweat in the oil until they shallots become translucent.
  3. Add the carrots and saute for a minute or so.
  4. Add the swiss chard, stir to combine with pancetta mixture, season with salt and pepper and cover with lid keeping it slightly ajar so some steam can escape.
  5. When the swiss chard is wilted down add the tomatoes and stir. Cook until chard is tender.
  6. Add the chicken stock and let it come to a simmer. Let it cook on low, stirring occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile bring a pot of water to a boil and season well with salt.
  8. Cook pasta a couple of minutes under al dente. While the pasta is cooking (give it a couple of minutes for the starches of the pasta to be released into the water) turn up the heat of the soup and add a few ladles of the pasta water until you have as much broth as you want (About 2 cups and you can always add more later just taste so you don't water it down too much).
  9. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  10. When pasta is ready drain all but a cup of the water (if needed) and add pasta with water to the soup. Stir to combine. Let cook for another minute or so until the pasta is al dente.
  11. Serve in bowls and top with a sprinkling of romano cheese.

Notes

I don't remove the skins from the tomatoes ahead of time but since they are quartered it's very easy to pull out the skin if you see it.