Monday, March 19, 2012

White bean & swiss chard soup - simply delicious

 I'm not going to subject you all to cleanse only recipes while I'm detoxing. This is a post I promised I'd write about and trust me when I say you absolutely must try this recipe!  A few weeks ago my partner Jovan and I cooked for this fabulous couple in Cabbagetown - a historic neighborhood in Toronto. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, a beautifully bright kitchen with a spacious center island (I get excited whenever clients have these since it makes their experience much more comfortable and our ability to cook, and entertain much more intimate). This soup was inspired by a photo I saw in a cook book, too bad I can't remember which one it was. The recipe came together as a complete collaboration. It was Jovan's idea to puree the chard stems along with the beans - something I  would have never considered. I pictured the soup being more of a broth, but this version is just so much better. The day before we were to start testing the recipe I literally woke up in the middle of the night thinking about bacon and how perfect it would be in this simple soup. You will need an immersion or any sort of blender for this recipe.

2 small cooking onions - rough chopped
4 cloves garlic - rough chopped
bunch swiss chard  - rough chop stems & julienne the leaves 
1 can white idney beans 
1/2 cup bacon or panchetta - chopped 
1L chicken stock (or veg stock) 
1 pinch dried thyme (optional)
1 pinch dried rosemary (optional)
1 tbs evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
s & p - to taste 

PREP: Chop all veg. Rinse beans and divide 1/2 the can will get pureed, and the other half reserve along with the leaves to finish the soup. 
COOK: Heat a drizzle of evoo in a medium pot and sautée bacon/ panchetta until crispy - remove and place on a paper towel to drain off excess fat. Then add onion & garlic to the hot rendered fat and sautée for two or so mins. Then add the stems of the swiss chard, herbs, s & p and continue cooking until everything in tender and translucent 8-10 mins. Add the chicken stock & 1/2 the beans - bring everything to a simmer (about 5 mins). Purée the mixture and check for seasoning. Add the remainder or the beans & chard leaves right before serving. 
SERVE: With garlic crostini & panchetta crisp
FOR CROSTINI - Thinly slice baguette drizzle with evoo & sprinkle of s & p.  Bake at 350 until slightly crispy - then rub with raw garlic and bake again until golden. 
FOR Panchetta crisp - On a parchment lined baking dish place paper thin slices of panchetta and bake at 350 for 3-5 mins.

A big thanks to the Cabbagetown boys for a beautiful glass of Niagra wine and the most incredible sea salt chocolate covered coconut caramels in the world. It was a pleasure FOODING with you both!


  1. Lovely and delicious!Love the Swiss Chard and beans combo.Super healthy and tasty :)

  2. Beautiful! I love "whirred" bean soups. There's just something completely satisfying about thick earthy soup

  3. I agree that blending soups are amazing. I'm not a huge broth person, but this one has hooked me just from the picture. Ok, that panchetta may have helped a little too.

  4. Looks beautiful! This photo would have worked better with a landscape orientation ; )

  5. What a gorgeous soup - I would love to taste the subtle aromas :)

  6. It sounds lovely. And I'm especially impressed by how pretty that little pancetta crisp is - it looks like a little flower!

  7. Thanks so much yall. Looking forward to everyone giving this simple soup a try. I hope you love as much as we do! xo

  8. Wow what a beautiful soup and healthy and full of yummy flavor. Glad to share the top 9 with you :)

  9. Jamie - this looks great! Thanks for sharing!

    Also wanted to drop by and let you know I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. I love following your posts! If you want to check out the details, they’re on my blog:

    1. Thanks so much Diane. I'll be paying it forward later this month!

  10. I would LOVE a bowl of this! Sans bacon for me...

  11. This looks so green and beautiful! I love the idea of pureeing the beans and chard for a rich and healthy soup. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  12. I love how a combination of efforts can produce an amazing meal like this! The soup sounds just lovely =)


Thanks for your two cents. I love change!