Friday, June 22, 2012

Italian Rainbow Chard & Bean Soup

Sometimes after a long day, a warm bowl of soup is what helps me unwind from the hustle and bustle. Even though it is summer time, I still enjoy warm meals every so often. This soup has a nice Italian flair, kind of like a minestrone, minus the pasta. Letting the Parm rind simmer in the soup, gives it amazing flavor and a nice saltiness (so try to not over salt). Rainbow Chard is a denser green(compared to spinach) that holds up well to the cooking process and maintains a nice bite, even when reheated. Also it is absolutely beautiful! Eat the rainbow... that's where you'll be sure to get a variety of nutrients that your body needs. By adding the chard leaves towards the end, you retain most of the nutrients. This soup has plenty of protein, veggies, and fiber. Definitely filling! 

I only used 2 of the 4 stems in this recipe because the stems have a bit of a woody taste and too much can give it an off taste. You could omit the stems completely if you'd like - but I  like to try to use everything (no waste). By substituting the chicken stock for veggie stock and omitting the Parm rind, this is an excellent Vegan main dish. This soup freezes well and makes for a great next day lunch. So no waste here :)

Italian Rainbow Chard & Bean Soup

Cook Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6 

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 4 organic rainbow chard, stems (2, diced) and leaves (chopped into bite-sized pieces) separated 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-14.5oz can of organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tbsp organic tomato paste
  • 2-15oz cans of organic pinto beans or cannelloni, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups of chicken or veggie stock
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • rind of Parmigiano Reggiano (any size)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (optional)

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and 2 of the rainbow chard stems only (add more if you'd like, but I find it makes the soup a bit too woody). Saute for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the rest of the ingredient except the rainbow chard leaves and the lemon. Raise the heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Allow the soup to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Then add the rainbow chard leaves, stir well into the soup. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. 

Add the juice of the lemon, stir well. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as necessary (more salt or pepper).

Serve piping hot with crusty bread for sopping up the soup. Top with Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Nutritional Info per Serving (assuming this makes 4):
Calories: 255 ; Fat: 2g ; Carbohydrate: 46g ; Fiber: 15g ; Sugar: 7g ; Protein: 13g 


  1. I really appreciate all the natural flavours in this soup. Another great recipe that I will definitely be making.

    Regarding soup in the summer: This is something I'm guilty of too. I like to make the most of all the fresh and in-season vegetables (I also freeze a lot of my soups)

    1. I'm with you on that. I buy a lot of fresh produce in bulk during this time and freeze it for later. It's cheaper now and ready to go when you need it.

  2. Love the name of this soup! Looks super yum :) and healthy which is totally my thang thank you for the recipe! I really like how you add to the end of your posts the reactions soo cute

    1. Thanks! Yeah I'm digging the reactions :P I find I want to "like" a post on other people's pages but can't. So I figured why not add it to mine.

    2. I love your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award. You can read about it at
      (I know you have it already but yours is one of the blogs I really like:)

    3. Thank you so much! I'm honored and appreciate you nominating me :) I enjoy your blog as well. You've got some delicious recipes!

  3. This is one of the most yummy soups I have ever made. Thank you so much for this recipe, me and my husband just loved it. Definitely I will recommend this recipe to all of my friends. Great blog as well.