Oh goodness, I’m so cheesy. It must be all the Boston humidity seeping into my brain or the fact that I just spent a good 40 hours straight staring at the computer screen in preparation for my final project in my grad school publishing class. (Yes, I’m aware I should un-glue myself from the computer and go outside and play, but really, I wanted to make this post first.) Dear eyeballs, please forgive me.
In the spirit of continuing my experimental cooking with my farm share vegetables I bring you a fabulous Swiss chard soup that I took liberties with and tweaked a bit. My fridge was filled with an abundance of greens so I to searched around for a soup recipe that used Swiss chard. Swiss chard is really quite pretty, look at that beautiful big leaf over there. Unfortunately, I don’t think any food should be named “chard” as it too closely resembles “charred” which is a characteristic no chef wants their food to have. Oh well, name aside, I am a fan of said veggie.
I found recipe on epicurious called “Beans and Swiss Chard,” which sounded fab. Slight problem though: this recipe was vegetarian and my dining partner is a male who demanded meat. So what’s a girl to do? Tweak time. I bought a pound of chicken drumsticks, seasoned then, and then baked them in the oven for 45 minutes. When they cooled I pulled the succulent meat off of the bone and TADA meat for my soup! Bonus: I was able to do this a few hours before actually making the soup and then stick the chicken in the fridge until I was ready for soup prep.
The recipe I found called for 1 cup of beans but a few reviews from people were saying that they wished they had added extra beans so I decided to really beef it up and buy a can of white beans AND a can of chick pea beans so my soup would be extra bean-y. And that’s where my tweaking ends, from then on out I followed the recipe pretty closely but added some extra broth to accommodate my meat and extra beans.
Oh dear, looking back at my pictures I realize that I lied to you earlier – one more final tweak to the original recipe: I added a handful of grape tomatoes to the pot at the same time that I added the pasta.
This recipe was really great and with my addition of shredded chicken bits it was sort of a unique twist on chicken noodle soup. It was also really tasty the next day, though a bit more like a pasta dish since the little shell noodles soaked up the broth. But still quite delish!
Overall score: 7 out of 10.
Bean and Swiss Chard Soup compliments of Epicurious and with my own tweaks
- ½ to 1 pound of cooked chicken (my addition)
- 1/2 pound (225 g) Swiss chard or kale, trimmed (I used that nice red-stemmed chard)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste
- 2 flat anchovy fillets
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves or dried
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
- 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 cup (225 g) cooked small white beans or drained and rinsed canned beans (I used two cans of two different beans to add variety)
- 4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock [or Garlic Broth for a meatless soup]
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup (60 g) small shell macaroni
- handful of grape tomatoes (my addition)
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Season and roast ½ to 1 pound of chicken pieces in the oven until they are done (juice runs clear when poked with a fork.) I cooked mine for approximately 45 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, cook the chard with 1/2 cup (125 ml) water and the salt over medium heat until tender. Drain the chard, reserving any liquid that remains. Coarsely chop the chard.
- Very finely chop anchovies together with the rosemary.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is pale gold, about 10 minutes. Stir in the anchovies and rosemary. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Discard the garlic. Stir in the chard and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Stir in the beans. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the reserved cooking liquid and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the macaroni. Boil for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
- Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.