Saturday, March 2, 2013

Red swiss chard and bean stew

I'm sorry I've waited all these years to share this soup with you. Over 2 years- that's how long these photos and recipe have been sitting on my computer. But wait no longer! If you're looking for a hearty yet insanely healthy soup to make during the last of these winter months, look no further.

 I know this soup almost looks like borscht, with it's bright red color, 
but all the color came from red swiss chard. 

You guys know how much I love chard, right? I'm in love with all those leafy greens, especially the heartier ones like chard and kale. Just on this blog alone I've posted about brined chicken with swiss chard, panade with chard and cheese, another veggie soup with kale (which could easily use chard), and bushala (an Assyrian yogurt soup). Not to mention all the other kale recipes I have on this blog.

I can't help it, its just so delicious, and beautiful

And remember, don't ever throw away the stalk of the chard. It doesn't cook the same as the leafy green part, so you do have to separate them from each other. But it provides a gorgeous crunch and flavor to your soup. It's similar to celery in texture, so just combine it with all your other crunchy/hard vegetables in the sauteeing stage.

Added bonus: it makes your soup extra pretty by adding that punch of red color.

Buen Provecho,

Swiss chard and bean stew, from Smitten Kitchen
Smitten Kitchen suggests eating the stew over a thick piece of country bread and topped with a poached egg. I never tried it that way, but sounds delicious… 

1 large Swiss chard (can also swap kale or spinach- although I don't think spinach is hearty enough for a stew like this), stem removed and chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 cup chopped carrots, about 3
1 cup chopped celery, about 2 stalks
1.5 cups chopped shallots, about 4 medium
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine, optional
2-3 cans white beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
3 cups (or more to taste) vegetable or chicken broth
1.5 cups pureed tomatoes (I used can whole tomatoes, which I mashed with a fork, along with their juice)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs or ½ tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP sherry vinegar, optional

  1. Bring medium pot of salted water to boil. Cook chard (or any heavier green; no need to precook baby spinach) for one minute, then drain and squeeze out water. Coarsely chop chard and set aside.
  2. Wipe out medium pot to dry it, and heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chard stem, carrots, celery, and shallots and saute for 10-12 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for a few more minutes.
  3. Add wine (scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pot) and cook it until it reduced by three-fourths.
  4. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, a few pinches of salt, freshly ground black pepper, thyme and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. v Add chard and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Add more broth if you’d like a thinner stew and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve as is or drizzled with sherry vinegar.


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