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
- 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